The Netherlands – Don’t settle for average.
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, located in Western Europe and bordering the North Sea, Belgium, and Germany.
According to Wikipedia, The Netherlands covers a total area of 41,865 square kilometers and is the 134th largest country globally. Estimates in 2022 put the population at 17,696,700 with 75.36% Dutch, 5% European Union, 2.016% Indonesian, 2.415% Turkish, 2.05% Surinamese and 2.37% Moroccan. The official languages of The Netherlands are Dutch and Frisian, although English is also widely spoken.
The country has a population density of 423/km2 (1,095.6/sq mi), ranking it 16th versus other countries across the globe.
The Netherlands operates a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. Renowned for its efforts to achieve consensus on essential issues from both the political community and its citizens.
The Netherlands has 12 administrative divisions or provinces are; Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noth-Brabant, North Holland, Overissel, Utrecht, Zealand and South Holland. The capital is Amsterdam, but the seat of the government is in The Hague.
The Netherlands participated in several international organizations and founding members of The EU, NATO, OECD, and WTO.
The official currency of The Netherlands is the Euro.
The Netherlands Economy
The World Bank estimated The Netherlands’ GDP in 2021 at $1.01 trillion and a GDP (PPP) of $1.05 trillion (PPP; 2021). GDP per capita in 2020 stood at $55, 268, ranking it the 21st most prosperous country in the world.
The Netherlands has a well-developed market economy and a high standard of living that is closely aligned with other major European economies. The country has a large services sector that generates 75% of the national GDP, and a strong industry sector accounts for around 24% of GDP.
The Netherlands also benefits from a small but dynamic agricultural sector that produces 1.6% of the national GDP. Foodstuffs included grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruit, vegetables, and livestock.
The Netherlands’ primary industries include agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, and fishing. Tourism is also crucial, with Amsterdam ranked as the 5th busiest tourist destination in Europe, welcoming around 4 million visitors per year.
Trade with other EU countries accounts for a large proportion of the country’s imports and exports. Considered one of the world’s leading exporting countries, commodities are sent primarily to Germany 25%, Belgium 12%, France 9%, and UK 8%.
The Netherlands also imports many products, primarily machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, and clothing, with 17% coming from Germany, China 11%, Belgium 9%, and the United States 8%.
The Infrastructure of the Netherlands
The country is connected by an extensive road system that stretches 136,827 kilometers, 2,582 kilometers of expressways.
The Netherlands has several companies that operate a dense network of train stations and railway lines that link Dutch and International cities. The CIA Factbook estimates that the railways throughout the country stretch over 2,896 kilometers and are estimated to transport a total of 7,295 million tons of freight.
Most large Dutch cities operate an extensive public transport network consisting primarily of trolleybuses, trams, buses, and subway systems. Cycling is also prevalent in the Netherlands, with major cities offering a good network of bike lanes and paths.
The Netherlands has several international airports, with Schiphol in Amsterdam being the largest. Other significant points of entry by air are Eindhoven, Maastricht, Rotterdam and Eelde. Centraal Bureau Voor de Statistiek reported that in 2008 commercial aviation in the country transported over 5 million air passengers per month. In 2020, total aircraft movements amounted to only 227,000. However, according to a stakeholder agreement from 2008, Schiphol is not allowed to further expand and is limited to 500,000 aircraft movements per year until 2020.
The Netherlands is home to a network of waterways and ports, the busiest of which is the Port of Rotterdam. According to official port authority figures in 2021, Rotterdam’s port is the largest in Europe and the third-largest globally, transporting over 469 million metric tons per year.
Workforce in the Netherlands
The CIA Factbook estimated The Netherlands labor force at 8.907 million (2020 est.). 80% of the labor force work in the services sector, which comprises banking, tourism, real estate, education, transportation, and communication.
18% work in the industrial sector dominated by the foodstuffs industry and includes chemicals, machinery, metallurgy, and electrical goods manufacturing. At 2%, the minor proportion of the workforce work in agriculture, producing grain, vegetables, fruits, and livestock.
The labor force is predominantly Dutch, with a small proportion of Western Europeans, Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese, and Caribbeans.
The Netherlands government spends an estimated 5.4% of GDP (2018) on education, and its focus results in a skilled workforce and a high literacy rate of 99%. OECD in 2008 ranked the Netherlands education system as the 9th best in the world. The country has compulsory education for all children aged 4 to 18 years divided into elementary, secondary, and higher education. Secondary education comprises three different educational tracks, depending on what is best suited to the individual. The highest level of high school education is Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs (VWO) which lasts six years and allows students to attend a university once completed.
The Netherlands unemployment rate in 2020 was 4.09%.
Business Costs in The Netherlands
Overall the Netherlands offered foreign businesses the cheapest location in Europe in terms of Business costs, ranking third globally behind Mexico and Canada. The study looked at the expense of setting up a new company alongside running costs over ten years.
The Netherlands individual income tax rates work on a partly progressive scale of 0%-52%, with four tax bands. Residents are required to declare their worldwide income and not just what was earned within the country.
In terms of corporate taxes, the Dutch government has set the corporate tax and capital gains rate at 25.8%, making it one of the most competitive European markets and an attractive place for companies and investors.
The Netherlands also enjoys a far-reaching tax treaty network comprising more than 80 countries and provides extensive benefits to residents.
The standard VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%, while a reduced VAT of 9% can be applied to food, agriculture, and other essentials while specific sectors are exempt.
In 2020 the Netherlands set a minimum wage of €1.635,60 per month or €408 per week for adults aged 23 years and over engaged in full-time work.
The Netherlands offered competitive location costs versus other major European cities, with an average office rental cost in Amsterdam of €423.53/sq.m per year and in Rotterdam CBD €423.53/sq.m per year.