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Imports of goods from India reached a record level in 2022. Higher mineral fuel imports (partly due to higher energy prices) contributed to this increase in import value in recent years. In addition, the rising costs of transport and containers played a role. Imports from India of goods other than mineral fuels rose as well.

Dutch goods trade with India1)
2002 837.0 503.0
2003 970.2 532.9
2004 982.6 742.5
2005 1296.1 862.9
2006 1560.8 1053.2
2007 1699.5 1500.9
2008 2190.9 1497.1
2009 2263.5 1596.6
2010 3105.2 1643.4
2011 3391.7 1794.4
2012 4223.1 1840.0
2013 3884.6 1575.7
2014 2530.1 1792.7
2015 2797.7 1874.1
2016 2683.3 1730.1
2017 2967.3 2013.0
2018 3155.7 2068.8
2019 3968.7 2086.8
2020 3048.1 1738.7
2021** 4203.2 2318.3
2022* 6790.5 3268.0
1) Figures up to 2020 inclusive based on provisional retrocalculation due to a trend break.
*Provisional figures

Over the span of two decades, trade between the Netherlands and India has increased sharply, even though India remains a relatively small trading partner. India has become a major supplier of specific goods and services for the Netherlands. These include (generic) medicines, zinc, aluminium, business services and telecommunications, and computer and information services. Another  news release focuses on imports of services from India.

India third largest supplier of antibiotics and COVID-19 vaccines

India is one of the world’s largest producers of (generic) medicines and vaccines. In 2022, the Netherlands imported 19.4 million euros in antibiotics from India. As such, India is our largest supplier of antibiotics after the United States and China. It was also the third largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccines for the Netherlands in 2022. Eleven percent of the vaccines against SARS-related coronaviruses was imported from India last year.

Shares in Dutch import value of antibiotics, 2022*
US 34.7
China 21.9
India 17.0
Italy 16.4
Japan 3.2
Rest of the world 6.9
*Provisional figures

India second largest zinc supplier

The most important goods imported from India by Dutch enterprises in 2022 were refined petroleum products. Almost 15 percent of the import package from India consists of refined petroleum products. Other relatively large imports from India are mobile telephone equipment, aluminium and zinc. With an import value of 271 million euros, India is the largest supplier of zinc after Norway. Twelve percent of all zinc imports here comes from India. Furthermore, India is a relatively large supplier of clothing with a share in imports of just under 6 percent.

Top imports from India, 2022*
Refined petroleum
(Mobile) phones,
modems, routers
Aluminium 343.1
Zinc 271.0
Medicines 186.1
Electrical power
Hydrocarbons 164.9
Medicinal and
pharrmaceutical products
Furniture 156.5
Clothing 146.8
*Provisional figures

More and more Dutch firms trading with India

Over the period 2015-2021, the number of Dutch enterprises importing goods from and/or exporting goods to India increased from 6,705 to 7,585. This means 2.1 percent of all goods traders traded with India in 2021. By way of comparison: 7.6 percent of Dutch enterprises traded in goods with China, the Netherlands’ second largest import partner. Two-thirds of the enterprises trading with India in 2021 were independent SMEs. The majority of these SMEs did not have any subsidiaries abroad. The business activities in which both Dutch importers and exporters of goods from/to India are active are trade, manufacturing and specialised business services.

Internationalisation Monitor on India

The latest edition of the CBS Internationalisation Monitor focuses on India. We discuss the economies of the Netherlands and India, bilateral trade in goods and services, ICT services, investment, export services and the Dutch footprint in India through consumption and use of Indian goods in the Netherlands.

Source of original article: Statistics Netherlands (CBS) (
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