News - June 28, 2016

Biobased economy is worth more than 38 billion euro

Albert Sikkema

We are always talking about the biobased economy, but how large is it really? Economist Wim Heijman calculated it.

The biobased economy, in which agriculture is included, but in which also for example petrol and plastics are made, is receiving more and more attention. But how large is this biobased economy in the Netherlands and is it growing? Wim Heijman, professor in economy set up a formula to calculate the added value of such products. In 2008, just before the economic crisis, this added value was 38 billion euro. In 2012 it grew slightly to approximately 38.5 billion. But because the Dutch economy as a whole shrunk in that period, the share in biobased economy in those four years grew from 6.6 to 7.2 percent of the gross national product, Heijman concluded in the Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences.

The biobased economy is still a relative small sector in the Netherlands, Heijman concludes. But according to him the figures also make it vivid that the biobased economy is pretty robust, because this branch of the economy restored more easily after the bank crisis compared to the rest of the Dutch economy. Using his calculation method we can continue to follow the growth of the biobased economy in the coming years.