Source: Forbes

The Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and moderate unemployment. Industry focuses on food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter. 

The Netherlands is part of the Eurozone, and as such, its monetary policy is controlled by the European Central Bank.

The Dutch financial sector is highly concentrated, with four commercial banks possessing over 90% of banking assets. The sector suffered as a result of the global financial crisis and required billions of dollars of government support, but the European Banking Authority completed stringent reviews in 2014 and deemed Dutch banks to be well-capitalized.

Drivers of growth included increased exports and business investments, as well as newly invigorated household consumption.

Netherlands at a Glance

Forbes Lists #9 Best Countries for Business

GDP $866 B as of December 2015

GDP Growth: 1%

GDP per Capita: $48,000

Trade Balance/GDP: 10.4%

Population: 16.9M

Public Debt/GDP: 69%

Unemployment: 7.4%

Inflation: 0.3%

Doing Business with the Netherlands

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dutch diplomatic missions and business support offices - acting closely with The NL Agency - provide useful business leads and contacts. Most diplomatic missions and business support offices have staff who can help you with trade requests or introduce you to different trade programs. Please visit the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( and Holland Trade websites for more information.