With exports of goods and services accounting for more than 80% of GDP, the Netherlands economy is very open with regard to trade and the country is among the top ten exporters in the world. It mainly supplies agrifood products (plants, flowers, dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables), chemicals, medication, medical equipment, refined oil, IT and telephone equipment, natural gas, agricultural and construction machinery, electrical and electronic components, equipment for printing and the semi-conductor manufacture. However, half of these sales are re-exports, as the country acts as a hub for European trade. Although imports have risen faster than exports since 2015, due to the dynamism of internal demand and the sluggishness of world demand, the trade surplus will remain above 10% of GDP. Trade in services, together with transport, tourism, royalties and services to businesses, will remain in balance. The investment income balance, which is massive because of the weight of foreign investment in the country and of Dutch investments abroad, particularly from pension funds, will also be balanced. In contrast, transfers by foreign workers, international cooperation and contributions to the European budget will generate a deficit (2% of GDP). Finally, the current account surplus, although slightly smaller, will remain large. Thanks to recurrent current account surpluses, the country can post a net creditor position equivalent to 78% of GDP (to June 2016).
Fiscal consolidation has been underway for several years, with tighter measures in 2015 and 2016, specifically through cuts to welfare payments. The government balance is now in equilibrium. Excluding debt interest and the effects of the economic cycle, it shows a slight surplus. As a result, but also because of comfortable growth and the partial re-privatization of ABN AMRO and ASR, a sign of banking sector recovery, the debt burden is projected to continue to fall. Nevertheless, a larger than expected cut in gas production could slow this decline.