Monday, 30 January 2012

The Future of Construction in the Netherlands to 2015: Revival in Export and Consumer Confidence to Stimulate Construction

London, January 30, 2012 – Residential construction was the largest market within the Dutch construction industry in 2010, representing a share of 42.4%. Infrastructure construction was the fastest growing market over the review period with a CAGR of 4.10%. This was followed by industrial construction with a CAGR of 1.70% (reference Figure 1 below).

The Dutch economy recorded 26 years of continuous economic growth before contracting in 2009 on the back of the global financial crisis. The crisis affected the country relatively late compared to other EU nations, which helped the economy to grow by 4.3% in 2008. However, as the Dutch economy is highly dependent on international trade, a 4.1% contraction in 2009 had a negative effect on growth. The economy is expected to recover in 2011, with growth anticipated to be highly dependent on the revival of demand from export destinations like the UK, Germany, Belgium and the US.

The Dutch government introduced stimulus packages to revive economic activity and made assurances that it wouldn’t roll back stimulus spending until 2012. As a result, the country that observed a tight labor market until 2008 saw its unemployment rate growing from 3.4% in 2009 to 5.1% by the end of 2010. Further improvements are expected in 2011, with a rise in employment, consumer confidence and spending increases. High domestic demand led to increases in commercial construction activity. The consolidation that is taking place in the retail industry is also expected to advance Dutch commercial construction activity.

Being an open economy and having non-discriminate business policies helped the Netherlands to attract large amounts of foreign direct investments (FDIs), opening up the market place to international firms. The industrial construction market registered a CAGR of 1.70% during 2006–2010.

In 2009 the Dutch government announced several tax incentives for companies that conduct exploration and production work in these smaller fields. In addition to tax incentives, the government also pledged to provide financial and technical assistance. These incentives attracted several domestic and international competitors to establish further operations in the Netherlands.

As part of its policies to encourage innovation the Dutch government introduced a program called Innovation Box through which it provided tax incentives for self-developed intangible assets. From January 2010, the effective corporate income tax rate was reduced to 5% from 10% for all eligible intangible assets. These incentives encouraged research and development companies to establish operations in the Netherlands.

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