The Netherlands is one of the richest countries and one of the 20 largest economies in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the country has the eighteenth largest economy in the world. It is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area and NATO.
According to the human development index, in 2013 the Netherlands occupies the prestigious fourth place in the world. It is often described as the most democratic, free and liberal country in on the planet, and the protection of human rights is a priority.
The Netherlands is considered the best place in the world for children.
1. Port of Rotterdam – one of the largest in the world
Rotterdam is a very important city for the economy of the Netherlands. It is famous for its harbor, which is one of the largest and busiest in the world.
It plays a very important role in the export and import of goods and raw materials not only in the Netherlands but in Europe as a whole. Although it is located in the Netherlands, it is often called “the largest German port” because of its extreme importance to the economy of Germany.
In fact, most of the raw materials needed to support the highly developed German industry arrive through the port of Rotterdam. The port is able to serve even the largest vessels on the planet. Every year it brings the Dutch economy direct revenues amounting to hundreds of millions of euros.
But this is just a small part of the advantages of having such a large port in the country. The port of Rotterdam brings many other benefits to the Netherlands. One of them is the good basis for the development of trade and finance. On the other hand, having one of the biggest ports makes the Netherlands a very attractive place for foreign investments.
The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural goods in the world after the United States and has one of the most advanced food industries on the planet. Despite its small territory, the Netherlands is a true giant in agriculture. Locals often joke that their country is small but every square meter of its land is of the highest possible quality.
By revenue from the export of agricultural goods, the Netherlands takes the first place in Europe and second in the world only to the United States. The combination of fertile soils, mild humid climate and high degree of mechanization is a very good basis for the development of the sector.
The Netherlands is a global producer of vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.), fruits (apples, pears, etc.) dairy products (local cheeses are among the most famous in the world) and flowers (mostly tulips).
It produces also a number of famous food products such as Gouda cheese as well as some popular brands of beverages such as Amstel and Heineken beers. The country is well-known for its high-quality chocolate and sausages.
2. Investment in innovations and perspective sectors
The Netherlands invests large amounts of money in various sectors of the economy such as medicine, education, new technologies, ecology, mechanization of agriculture and others.
Despite the lack of resources for the production of green energy, the country is making great efforts. The emphasis is primarily on wind energy generated by turbines in the coastal areas of the North Sea.
The Dutch city of Eindhoven, along with parts of the neighboring countries, falls within an area that is considered the most innovative, promising and perspective on the continent.
3. Highly developed industry
Similar to Japan and South Korea, the country is poor in resources. Although it is forced to import almost all raw materials it needs, the Netherlands has a highly developed industry.
The country imports cheap resources and exports abroad high-quality ready-to-use production. The Netherlands actually produces almost everything it needs.
It is among the world leaders in technology and electronics. Here are the headquarters of the technology giant Phillips and the sports car brand Spyker Cars.
4. Engineering genius
Much of the Netherlands is below sea level. For this reason, Dutch engineers are facing much more unprecedented challenges in comparison with engineers from other countries.
Trying to protect their country from the rising sea level, some of the best scientists in the world create a bunch of miracles in the Netherlands. One of them is the movable barriers that protect from floodings the city of Rotterdam in bad weather conditions.
The system is so perfect that it is able to react by itself without the need for human intervention. In case of raising the sea level of the North Sea, the system automatically decides whether to close the protective barriers or not and calculates the risk of flooding.
Namely, the location of the Netherlands is the main reason why the engineering genius has reached so far trying to protect the nation from Mother Nature’s changing moods.
Over the last decades, a few nations in the world have succeeded to turn their disadvantages into advantages, and the Netherlands is one of them.
5. The Netherlands is one of the leading financial centers
When it comes to finances, a good reputation is one of the leading factors. And the Netherlands has a very good international image. Most people would describe the country as rich, peaceful, stable, modern, democratic and successful.
After 5 centuries of rapid economic development, today the Netherlands is one of the world leaders in the field of services. Here are some of the world’s leading financial institutions such as the famous company ING. Also, few people know that the Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the oldest in the world.
6. Highly developed tourism industry
The Netherlands is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, and the biggest attraction is the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam, which is considered the most modern and tolerant throughout Europe.
The city is also known as the destination with the largest number of museums in the world. Each year, the country is visited by over four and a half million tourists. Vast fields planted with tulips, windmills and canals that criss-cross the country, are some of the symbols of the Netherlands.
7. The entrepreneurial spirit
A country is rich when its people are rich. And the best way to achieve this goal is by promoting entrepreneurship among the population.
The Netherlands is one of the countries with the highest percentage of entrepreneurs per capita. The foundations of this way of thinking are placed during the early childhood.
At home and at school Dutch people teach their children in creativity and embracing new and unusual ideas. You will often hear people say: “Come to the Netherlands and see how the world will look like in a few decades.” And it is quite true.
The country is among the places in the world with the largest number of startups as a percentage of the population, and Amsterdam is unrivaled in this respect.
We live in an era of high technologies and the Dutch population has managed successfully to take advantage of this fact – today the majority of startup businesses in the Netherlands are on the Internet.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, the population is the greatest wealth of a country. Like Switzerland, in the Netherlands are spoken different languages.
In addition to the official Dutch language, almost all people in the country speak English and German. The population has the opportunity to receive an excellent world-class education.
Although the Netherlands is a small country, here are some of the best universities in the world.
The percentage of the population that has internet access, including free wireless internet access in major cities, is among the highest in the world.
8. Wealthy neighbors
An important factor in the development of the Dutch economy is that the country is surrounded only by rich and powerful nations.
Its neighbors are Belgium and Germany, and in the vicinity are other rich states such as Luxembourg, France, Britain and Denmark.
In fact, the Netherlands is the center of one of the most economically developed regions in the world.
9. Excellent infrastructure
The Netherlands undoubtedly is one of top ten countries with the best infrastructure in the world and is quite often compared with South Korea.
The perfect network of highways, modern airports and seaports could overshadow almost every other country in the world.
The Netherlands occupies the prestigious first place when it comes to the quality of the power grid and reliability of electricity.
10. Immigration policy
The Netherlands is the country with the most clever and balanced immigration policy from all the other countries on the continent.
Although it is an EU member, the Netherlands accepts a large number of high-skilled immigrants from outside the community.
It is often encouraged from other states because of the easy and fast procedure of working visas issue for highly skilled workers, which in turn moves the economy forward and makes it more competitive.