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. The Dutch royal couple, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima, visited Bremen on 6 March 2019 and Land Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Land Brandenburg from 20 to 22 May 2019. On 9 July 2020, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in Berlin with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Intergovernmental consultations took place in Berlin for the third time on 2 October 2019. The Netherlands is one of Germany’s closest bilateral, EU and multilateral partners.
Exports and innovations 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 sector is often highly specialised. The Netherlands is the fifth-largest exporter in the world (source: International Trade Centre), with 75 percent of its exports going to the EU and 22 percent to Germany. The country is the second-largest exporter of agricultural produce in the world after the United States (with a volume of 95.6 billion euro in 2020). In 2020, the Netherlands was Germany’s most important trading partner in the EU for the fourth time in a row and its second-largest partner worldwide.
Bilateral cultural relations between Germany and the Netherlands are very intensive. There is close cooperation and exchange between organisations and people involved in vocational training, education, research and culture. Around 23,000 Germans study in the Netherlands. They account for 25 percent of all international students and are the largest group of students from abroad, ahead of those from Italy and China.