Proxima — See the change

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The Dutch market: looking outwards

Jul 16, 2013 3:34:00 AM

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Proxima blog

The Dutch economy is the fifth-largest economy in the euro-zone and is noted for its stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable trade surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub.

The Netherlands boasts strong industrial activity including food processing, chemicals, packaging, electrical machinery and business services – alongside a well-developed transportation, distribution, and logistics industry.

It is significant that only one company on the Dutch AEX25 does not operate on an international basis. Groups working internationally face significant additional challenges around their supply chain – and this global effect is reflected in our full research paper.

Local economic conditions are also a prime factor in assessing the appetite to outsource aspects of a company’s operations. MarketLine, a publisher of business information, offers the following additional insight into the local Dutch market:

The global economic downturn adversely affected the economic prospects of the Dutch economy, and [it] went into recession in 2009 when it contracted by 3.5 per cent. Subsequently, the country recovered to post a growth rate of 1.68 per cent in 2010. MarketLine forecasts indicate that the country’s economic growth is expected to be below 2 per cent during 2012 to 2016.”

Why is this significant?

Simply put, Dutch companies - like many across the world facing similar domestic issues (despite their global nature) need to seek opportunities overseas while exploring creative ways of delivering efficiencies and innovation that will support bottom-line growth. This cannot be done by using traditional blunt instruments such as mass headcount reductions or further supplier negotiations around price.

A new approach is needed to overcome this challenge, one that understands how 'corporate virtualization' has fundamentally changed the very core of today's Dutch business and the resultant opportunities now available to stimulate business growth.


 Jeroen Huisman

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