Agricultural exports rise to €75 billion
Dutch agricultural exports rose again last year. Agricultural exports grew by €3.2 billion, from €72.2 billion Euros in 2011 to €75.4 billion in 2012, an increase of more than 4.5%. Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma announced the figures during her visit to the 2013 International Green Week in Berlin.
More than 80% of Dutch agricultural exports were to countries in the European Union. Germany is by far the Netherlands' most important trade partner in terms of agricultural products, accounting for 26% of Dutch exports. Last year, agricultural exports to Germany reached €19.4 billion. Dairy exports in particular have been on the rise in recent years, increasing by an average of 14% in each of the past three years.
According to Minister Dijksma, "We can only achieve these results because of our dynamic and innovative agricultural sector – a sector we must continue to nurture. That is why I will do everything I can to support and strengthen entrepreneurism in agriculture. In this way, I aim to foster innovation, bolster cooperation between government, entrepreneurs, and research institutions, and give agriculture and horticulture a central role in my policy."
Minister Dijksma also has agricultural trade visits planned to Russia and Turkey this year, two countries which are prospective partners for the Dutch agricultural sector, as potential markets for Dutch agricultural products and expertise, as well as for investment opportunities. "A government minister can help open doors abroad. In this way, I aim to do my part to help promote the export of quality Dutch products."
The Netherlands as partner
This year, the Netherlands is the official partner country of the International Green Week. With its 450,000 visitors, Green Week in Berlin is the world's largest international fair for agriculture, horticulture, and food. The Netherlands is the International Green Week's oldest participant, having been represented at the agricultural fair since 1953. As 2013 official partner country, the Netherlands will take centre stage for 10 days at the fair – an ideal opportunity for the entire Dutch agricultural sector.