A report released by the Benelux General Secretariat on Monday estimates that a unified retail market of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands could create 95,000 jobs and 36,000 businesses in these countries by 2025.
The report refers to a study commissioned by the Benelux General Secretariat and carried out by the Vlerick Business School.
Retail industry body EuroCommerce lauded the study, saying the Benelux could serve as a model for making the wider European Single Market work better for EU consumers.
In the Benelux, the retail sector is an important economic driver, with 198,052 companies employing close to one million people and generating revenues of 219 billion euros.
Advantages for consumers, entrepreneurs
Online retail accounted for 20 billion euros in sales in 2014.
According to the report, however, the Benelux market has not yet reached its potential.
The implementation of a unified retail market would bring big advantages for consumers and entrepreneurs, it states.
Calculating the expected economic impact of unifying the retail market, the report predicts an additional 23 billion euros in turnover and 4 billion euros in added value, while creating 95,000 extra retail jobs and 36,000 companies.
This would help the Benelux approach the status of retail “powerhouses” such as France, Germany and the UK, the report says.
Christian Verschueren, director general at EuroCommerce, said: “Action by Benelux to create a single market for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg can show the way for Europe at a time when the EU urgently needs new impetus to create growth and jobs.”