Doing business in THE NETHERLANDS


With a population of almost 17 million, the Netherlands only seems like a small country within Europe, but it has the sixteenth largest economy in the world and the sixth largest in the European Union. It has an open economy that is oriented towards trade with other countries. As the fifth largest exporter of goods in the world, the Netherlands occupies a prominent position on the world market.

The Netherlands exports approximately 3.8% of the world’s total exports and has a share of 3.4% of global total imports. Being such an open economy for investors, the Netherlands is the world’s tenth-largest recipient of foreign investments, with foreign investors providing 15% of the total number of jobs in the Netherlands.

With its central geographical position and outstanding infrastructure it is an ideal gateway to start a new investment. The Netherlands already acts as a logistical hub for Europe through the port of Rotterdam (Europe’s largest) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, both with renowned service levels. The Netherlands also hosts one of the most important internet hubs in the world, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange; hundreds of IT companies have established their headquarters in the Netherlands.

In its economic policies, the Dutch government focuses on nine business sectors that are key to international trade and investment. These are sectors that are leading the way in innovation and sustainability, collaborating with Dutch knowledge institutes on world-class research and development. Expertise and products from these Dutch sectors are in demand around the world and together form the pillars of the Dutch economy.

Key sectors
– Agriculture and food sector – World-leading supplier of agri-food products
– Chemical sector – Chemical portal to Europe
– Creative industries – Masters in architecture, design, fashion and gaming
– Energy sector – Innovative, sustainable energy solutions
– High tech sector – New technologies for health, mobility, energy and security
– Horticulture sector – World’s leading supplier of flowers, plants and trees
– Life sciences and health sector – Helping to advance health worldwide
– Logistic sector – Strategic gateway to Europe and the world
– Water sector – World leader in hydraulic engineering, water treatment and shipbuilding

With a highly educated, flexible and motivated workforce and a financial climate that has been stable for decades, the Netherlands is a very suitable country for business. The country’s goal is to ensure that the Netherlands is in the top five knowledge economies in the world in 2020. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a stable and vibrant parliamentary democracy, recognized worldwide for its transparency, fairness and effectiveness. The legal system is fair and transparent and well equipped to deal with business, trade, taxation and patent issues. Not only is the Netherlands ranked 8th among the most immaculate countries in the world with respect to the perceived level of public sector corruption, the Netherlands also has the 8th best business climate in the world. Due to its exceptional number of bilateral investment treaties, the Netherlands is a secure place from which to make an investment.