Germany and the Netherlands: Bilateral relations

20.02.2024 - Article

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 Bundesrat 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 fifth-largest exporter in the world, with 65 percent of its exports going to the EU and approximately 22 percent to Germany. The country is the second-largest exporter of agricultural produce in the world after the United States (2022: 122.3 billion euro). 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 them by far the largest group of foreign students in the country.


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