Germany and the Netherlands enjoy wide-ranging, close and friendly relations at the level of both government and civil society. There are intensive contacts between their members of government and parliament at national and Land level. Regular visits and encounters take place, also at the highest level. The fourth Intergovernmental consultations took place in Rotterdam in March 2023.
Traditionally, the President of the Bundesrat visits the Netherlands and receives a top-level welcome – most recently Minister-President Dr Peter Tschentscher in September 2023. The Netherlands is one of Germany’s closest bilateral, EU and multilateral partners.
Exports and innovation play a very important role in the Netherlands’ economy. Strong sectors include services, particularly in the financial sector, as well as trade, agriculture and industry. The manufacturing industry is often highly specialised. The Netherlands is the fourth-largest exporter in the world (source: International Trade Centre), with 72% of its exports going to the EU and just under 25% to Germany. The country is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural produce after the United States (122.3 billion euro in 2022). The Netherlands was Germany’s most important trading partner in the EU in 2022, as well as its third-largest partner worldwide.
Cultural relations between Germany and the Netherlands are very intensive. Cooperation and exchange between organisations and people involved in vocational training, education, research and culture is close. Around 23,000 Germans study in the Netherlands, making up 19% of all foreign students.