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Economy of Netherlands

According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Netherlands was the 18th largest economy of the world in 2012, while the country has only about 17 million inhabitants. GDP per capita is roughly $43,404 which makes it one of richest nations in the world. Between 1996 and 2000 annual economic growth (GDP) averaged over 4%, well above the European average. Growth slowed considerably in 2001-05 as part of the global economic slowdown. 2006 and 2007 however showed economic growth of 3.4% and 3.9%.

The Netherlands have a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, fairly low unemployment and inflation, a very big sizable current account surplus (compared to the size of the country even more than Germany) and an important role as a European transportation hub, with Rotterdam as far out the biggest port in Europe and Amsterdam as one of the biggest airports in Europe. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, high tech, financial services, creative sector and electrical machinery. A highly mechanised agricultural sector employs no more than 2% of the labour 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 stern financial policy has been abandoned in 2009 on account of the current credit crises. The relatively large banking sector was partly nationalised and bailed out through government interventions. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.0% in the summer of 2011, but increased with a sharp rate since then to 7.3% in May 2013 and 6.8% in 2015. The state budget deficit is about 2.2% in 2015 well below the norm of 3.0% in the EU. Historically, the Dutch introduced and invented the stock market by the merchandise trading through Dutch East India Company. The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, the OECD and the World Trade Organization.


While its oil reserves in the North Sea are of little importance, in the Netherlands have an estimated 25% of natural gas reserves in the EU. Natural gas reserves of the Netherlands are estimated (as of 2014) to be about 600 billion cubic feet, or about 0.3% of the world total.

Nuclear energy
Researchers in the Netherlands began studying nuclear energy in the 1930s and began construction of research reactor Dodewaard in 1955. Researchers' goal was to introduce nuclear power technology by 1962 and replace fossil fuels. In 1968, a test nuclear reactor was attached to the power grid.

After the 2010 election, the new government was open to expanding nuclear power. In January 2012, Delta announced it postpones any decision to start building a second nuclear power plant.


In 2011 the Netherlands was visited by 11.3 million foreign tourists. In 2012, the Dutch tourism industry contributed 5.4% in total to the country's GDP and 9.6% in total to its employment. With its global ranking of 147th and 83rd place for total contribution to respectively GDP and employment, tourism is a relatively small sector of the Dutch economy. There are seven World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands. The Netherlands are well known for their art and rich historical heritage.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of The Netherlands"

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