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CONSULTING

NETHERLANDS




Area: 41,526 sq. km
Capital city: Amsterdam (pop. 742,884)
Population: 16.4 million
Annual growth rate: 0.28% (46,000 people) (2007)
Language: Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Literacy: 99%
Government type: Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch
Neighboring countries: Belgium, Germany
Memberships: ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
UN, EU, NATO, OSCE, COE, EAPC, WTO, CBSS
Currency: Euro

TARGET SECTORS

• Agriculture and fisheries
• Industry
• Extractive industries
• Retail (and hospitality industry)
• Financial and business services
• Legal and economic services
• Public sector
• Health care and other services

ECONOMY

GDP: $792 billion (2007 est.)
Annual growth rate: 3.5% (2007)
GDP per capita: $45,600 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2%, industry: 24.4%, services: 73.6% (2007 est.)
Major industries: agro-industries, steel and aluminum, metal and engineering products, electric machinery and equipment, bulk chemicals, natural gas, petroleum products, transport equipment, microelectronics; services - trade, hotels, restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financial (banking and insurance) and business services, care.
Inflation: 1.6% (2007)
Unemployment: 4.5% (2007)
Labor force: 7.604 million (2007 est.): agriculture: 3%, industry: 21%, services: 76% (2005 est.)
Trade Exports --$489.9 billion (2007)
Imports--$433.1 billion (f.o.b.)
FDI: $673.4 billion (2007 est.)
FDI abroad: $851.3 billion (2007 est.)

The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 3% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the US. The economy experienced a slowdown in 2005 but in 2006 recovered to the fastest pace in six years on the back of increased exports and strong investment. The pace of job growth reached 10-year highs in 2007.

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