Netherlands Embassy and Consulates, China

Creative Industries

The Netherlands is a world leader when it comes to the creative industries. Although a small country, it is one of the biggest export countries of creative services in the world. Creativity and innovation are key aspects of this sector. By also developing innovative and pragmatic solutions for global changes, the Dutch creative industries have a broad impact both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Particular to the creative industries in the Netherlands is an idiosyncratic mentality. This relates strongly to out-of-the-box thinking necessary to imagine, design, and construct workable and long-term solutions on a grand scale, necessary for living in a vulnerable delta region such as the Netherlands. Designers, architects and engineers are all skilled in coming up with pragmatic solutions to urbanization and water security.

Connecting creativity to business

In the Netherlands, innovation, creativity and business are fused together. The Dutch creative industries think in an innovative way and are accustomed to cooperate and collaborate with actors of different domains so that cross-over solutions are achieved. Furthermore they contribute to solutions for societal issues such as healthcare, safety, and energy. This creative innovation produces added value and provides Dutch industries with a competitive advantage worldwide.

Small enterprises, big impact

The majority of Dutch creative firms are small and medium size enterprises. Of these, 66% is self-employed. Together they are accountable for a yearly growth of 6%, which makes the creative industries the fastest growing sector of the Dutch economy. Furthermore, together they generate 2% of the Dutch GDP.

The creative industries generate value that spreads far wider than the sector itself. They play an important role in shaping how the rest of the world perceives the Netherlands.

Focus on design

The creative industries includes a large number of creative disciplines such as design, media, entertainment, fashion, gaming, architecture and film. The Dutch diplomatic network to China concentrates on the following fields: design, interior design, fashion, architecture & urban planning, film and gaming.

Creative industries with an emphasis on design is also one of the focus areas within the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on culture signed between China’s Ministry of Culture and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It is therefore also the goal of the Netherlands to foster more collaboration with China in this field by means of solid partnerships.

The Dutch diplomatic network to China focuses on the disciplines related to design with an emphasis on the following areas: architecture, urban planning, design (product, graphic, fashion) and new media and digital culture.

The big 5 of the Dutch creative industry

Architect John van de Water first came to China in 1999. The rapid developments he noticed in the country sparked his curiosity, which made him settle down in China in 2004. The embassy interviewed him on the opportunities within creative industries in China and Sino-Dutch collaboration.

For several years already, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Chinese Ministry of Culture have pledged to work together and have formalized their collaboration in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).