Strategic Sectors

The Netherlands is a small country in terms of both area and population size. Its area is 41,543 km2, which is approximately as large as 2.5 times Beijing’s municipal area. The population of the Netherlands ranked 63rd in the world (estimated in first half of 2015) with roughly 16.9 million. Yet, the country is the densest territory in Europe as well as among of the densest whose population size is over 10 millions. This is one of the reasons for  invention and innovation trends within the country to optimize the quality of life. netherlands-competitiveness-index-forecast
The Dutch economy is among the largest in the world and takes the lead in various fields in the global knowledge economy. Its long tradition in international trade has enabled the country to advance in modern entrepreneurship, especially in the service sector that alone accounts for approximately 75% of the entire economy.In 2014, the Netherlands scored 22nd in the world GDP ranking with the figure of USD47,400, above many other European countries.


For years, the Netherlands has been among the most competitive economy in the world. Aiming at greater enhancement in the competitiveness of the economy, Dutch government has designated nine strategic sectors, i.e. clusters, – in Dutch topgebieden or topsectoren.

Some useful authoritative initiatives to support the growth of these sectors


Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) plays the role of a common platform for entrepreneurs and scientists from these strategic sectors to join forces. It facilitates ideas and initiatives in order to fuel intrinsic growth of the sectors.


The Human Capital Agenda (HCA) focuses on the distinctive development in terms of labor force within each sector. Skills and other requirements are the core of a sustainable labor market for the sectors as well as the Dutch economy.


Innovation Contract (IC) refers to financial collaboration among business entities, research institutions and government agencies. They emphasized the strong commitment and mutual support among involved players in specific programs/projects.


National Icon (NI) is an outstanding innovative projects that trigger highly potential benefit for not only economic growth but also social development.

The criteria to opt for these fields to be in the list of the economy’s focal clusters include a degree of knowledge intensity as well as export focusing, part of the legislation agenda, and contribution to social-changes adaptation. As a result these selected clusters all have high potential in terms of innovation, investment and export.

The clusters are:

Agri & Food


Life Sciences & Health

High-Tech Systems & Materials

Creative Industry

Horticulture & Propagating Stock