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Netherlands - Country Profile

The Netherlands is a small European country with 16 millions inhabitants. Since it is situated on the North Sea, sea and coastal transport are central to the country’s economy. The Netherland’s main port, Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and one of the most important in the world. The Netherlands is highly dependent on foreign trade. Because of the world slow-down, the IMF forecasts a GDP growth rate of -3% for 2009. Nevertheless unemployment is structurally low and will increase less than elsewhere in the European Union. As a consequence, household consumption will continue to sustain the market. The Netherlands is world's second largest exporter of agricultural products. The manufacturing sector makes up 13.9 percent of GDP and the services sector is comparatively large. Financial services are performing relatively well and the information technology industry is innovative has a large number of competitive software developers. Product exports are mostly electrical machinery, mineral fuels, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The USA is the 5th export and 4th import partner of the country. Foreign investors will find superior logistics and technology infrastructures and a highly educated, multilingual and flexible workforce. Since January 2007 the Dutch tax environment for international companies has become even more attractive. The website of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency> offers extensive information about investing in the country, including links to its offices in the U.S Holland Trade is the official website of the Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD), the trade promotion agency of the Dutch government.

Economic Statistics
Exports : $293.1 billion f.o.b.
Commodities :
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs
Germany 25%, Belgium 12.4%, UK 10.1%, France 9.9%, Italy 6%, US 4.3% (2004)
Imports $252.7 billion f.o.b
Commodities :
machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs, clothing
Partners :
Germany 17.9%, Belgium 9.9%, US 7.9%, China 7.4%, UK 6.4%, France 4.8% (2004)