Doing Business in The Netherlands
Published in March 2020
The Kingdom of The Netherlands is a country located in North-Western Europe. It has three island territories in the Caribbean (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba). Mainland Netherlands consists of twelve provinces and borders Germany (East), Belgium(South) and the North Sea(North West). Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven are its largest cities, Amsterdam being the capital. However government institutions such as The States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court are all located in The Hague. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and the largest outside Asia. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest in Europe.
The Netherlands has a developed economy and has been playing a special role in the European economy for many centuries. Since the 16th century, shipping, fishing, agriculture, trade, and banking have been leading sectors of the Dutch economy. The Netherlands has a high level of economic freedom. The country was ranked the second most innovative nation in the world in the 2018 Global Innovation Index.
The key trading partners of the Netherlands are Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, China and Russia. The Netherlands is one of the world's 10 leading exporting countries.
The Netherlands continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the United States.
It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products after the United States, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, and intensive agriculture - this despite an area of 41800 sq km, of which only 33500 sq km is being land. Its population of 17.4 million means that the Netherlands is densely populated.
'Netherlands' literally means 'lower countries', referring to its low topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) above sea level and nearly 17% being below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation beginning in the 16th century.
Since 1848 The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure and has a tradition of social tolerance. The Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, and is part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
The Netherlands, and in particular The Hague, is the location for some prestigious intergovernmental organisations and international courts, and consequently it can be called "the world's legal capital". Their socioeconomic model is based on consensus decision-making, known as "polder model". The Netherlands is one of the world’s most prosperous countries and has a mixed-market advanced economy and the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. It rates very highly in terms of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness. It has a strong and advanced welfare state that provides healthcare, public education and infrastructure, in addition to social benefits.
This portal incorporates live data feeds from:
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The World Bank
The observatory of Economic Complexity
The intention is to provide access to live information extracted from the regularly refreshed databases maintained by these organisations.