The Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry (VNCI) promotes the collective interests of the chemical industry in the Netherlands by means of consultations, information meetings and recommendations. The VNCI acts on behalf of the entire sector as a central contact point and undertakes activities that have a positive impact on the image of the chemical industry.

Chemical industry in the Netherlands

For several decades now, the chemical industry and the Netherlands have been a profitable combination. Due in part to the Rotterdam harbour, the infrastructure, top universities and the availability of qualified personnel, the chemical industry has found a good home base in the Netherlands. Many of the world’s largest chemical industries have opened production facilities in the Netherlands – to the benefit of both the companies and to the Dutch economy.


Sector turnover in 2012 was a respectable € 60 billion, including € 7 billion of turnover from the pharmaceutical industry. With this, the Netherlands is the third largest chemical producer in Europe after Germany and France. It provides work for 64,000 people (including 14,000 in the pharmaceutical industry), distributed among more than 400 companies (excluding pharmacies and sole proprietorships). With the exception of the food, beverages and tobacco industry, the chemical industry is the largest business sector in the Netherlands.

World leading

The Dutch chemical industry is a player at the global scale as well. In areas such as basic chemistry, biotechnology, food ingredients, coatings and high performance materials, the Netherlands is among the world’s top players. This can also be seen in its share of exports. The chemical industry accounts for nearly 20% of all Dutch exports. The Netherlands exports more chemical products than countries such as Japan.

The chemical industry is also important from an intellectual and social point of view. In the areas of research, knowledge development and innovation, the Netherlands is among the best countries in the world. One fourth of the country’s efforts in the area of industrial R&D is accounted for by the chemical industry.


Innovation is essential to the Dutch chemical industry. This is evident from the sector’s investments in research and development, among other things. Each year, the chemical industry in the Netherlands spends more than € 1 billion on research and development. Together with the Dutch culture and mindset, this ensures a powerful chemical industry that forms an engine for the economy and acts as a leader in sustainable development and entrepreneurship.