Dutch water sector exports increased in 2018 and are now estimated at EUR 7.6 billion. This is the conclusion of the 2018 ‘Water Sector Export Index’ (WEX) report on the exports of the Dutch water sector. The Dutch water sector is positive about the future and expects its market share to further expand in 2019. Increasing demand due to the effects of climate change, is one of the main reasons for this anticipated growth.
Delta and water technology sector
Though the delta sector experienced a rapid decline in its exports in 2016 as a result of declining market conditions (such as low oil and gas prices, restricted growth of the world trade markets and excess capacity), it underwent a recovery at the end of 2017. In contrast, the water technology sector has experienced continuous growth in exports since 2009. Now, companies in both sectors see a positive future with ongoing export growth in 2018 and 2019.
European market most promising
According to research, companies in the water sector have become more interested in doing business in nearby markets. Companies in the delta technology sector see most of its market opportunities in neighbouring countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom. The United States, China, Kenya and India are of interest as well. Companies engaged in water technology also see European countries as the most important export market, followed by the United States, Canada, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Most promising markets according to the Delta technology sector (Source: Panteia)
Potential risks and trade conflicts
Besides these growing market opportunities, there are also potential increases in risks that could negatively impact the growth rates in water sector exports. The trade conflicts between the United States and other countries could escalate into a trade war while the implications of the Brexit negotiations still remain unclear. Further, uncertainties with respect to the economic policies of Italy as well as financial challenges in Turkey could affect economic growth in the Euro zone.
According to the participants that contributed to the WEX, investing in innovation is the most important aspect to maintain and compete on the international market. This could be done, for example, through demonstration projects and pilot locations, and the provision and promotion of integrated solutions.
About the WEX
The WEX is an indicator that shows the annual export trends in the Dutch water sector, and specifically the delta and water technology sectors. The research agency Panteia carried out the research within the framework of the Partners for Water Programme. NWP, Water Alliance and ENVAQUA are the initiators of the research. The complete report is available on our website.