March 29, 2010Netherlands Economyby EconomyWatch Content

Netherlands Economy

Netherlands’ economy is the 16th largest one in the world with a GDP that is 4% higher than the EU average. The Netherlands is located in North West Europe and is bordered by the North Sea, Belgium and Germany. The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a low lying country with almost 20% of its land mass below sea level. However, most of the land area is flat and thus cultivable. Netherlands’ economy is considered to be an open economy, with minimal interference from the government.


The Netherlands benefits from its location and is an active trade partner with Germany and the UK. It is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe and gains foreign exchange through tourism. 

Netherlands Economy: Overview

Holland’s economy is noted for its stable industry, low unemployment rate and inflation, an impressive current account surplus and as a transit point for most European transportation.


Holland, due to its stability, has been able to attract a lot of FDI as well. In 2009, the total FDI amount stood at $661 billion, higher than the 2008 level of $644.6 billion. The country ranked seventh in the world in terms of FDI volume. The Netherlands, with a rather prosperous economy, is one of the biggest investors in the USA as well. Its FDI abroad amounted to $866.1 billion in 2009, an increase from the 2008 level of $843.7 billions. 

Netherlands Economy: Figures

Being an economy that is highly dependant on trade, recession brought some tough times for the Dutch economy and the GDP fell from $681.6 billions (2008) to $652.3 billions (2009).


The growth rate suffered as well and the figures were:

  • 2007: 3.6%

  • 2008: 2%

  • 2009: -4.3% 

The best feature of the Netherlands economy is its low unemployment rate. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands is only 3.3% (2009). This is the lowest rate in the EU. However, almost 1.05% people live under the poverty line.


Netherlands’ economy also benefits from the presence of one of the largest natural gas fields. With oil and energy prices projected to go up, the Netherlands can expect fast paced growth in times to come. All these factors make Holland even more attractive for investors. 

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