That multinationals spend a lot of effort to move their corporate profits around to avoid taxation is not in question: The famed 'Double Irish With a Dutch .

The Dutch tax authority signed tax agreements with 539 companies in 2016, almost 100 fewer than in 2015, Secretary of State for Finance Eric Wiebes .

However, tax treaties with European countries including The Netherlands, France, Spain and Sweden do not have this. Many French banks have been .

The netherlands economics

The Netherlands rose to power as an economy based on trade, with an outward looking culture and workforce, and an orientation towards international trade that has been constant from the 17th century to today's era of value-added logistics and e-commerce. The Netherlands - being the Gateway to Europe - is an economic powerhouse: it offers an ideal platform for international trade.


dutch windmillThe Netherlands is one of the richest countries in the world with a very stable economic climate. Historically, the Dutch have valued international trade. Already at the end of the 17th century they had 4000 ocean-going vessels a year unloading goods traded with 625 foreign ports. Trade with the Far East brought prosperity. The Dutch trait of "not sticking one's nose" into other people's affairs also aided their trading success. When Spanish and Portuguese traders began converting the Japanese to Christianity in the early 1600s, the Emperor was swift to eject all foreigners - except for the 'hands-off' Dutch. They were to keep their monopoly on outside contact with Japan until 1858, and special business ties between the two countries remain strong. After that, the Dutch fortunes have ebbed and flowed, but the values and outlook that first created its wealth have remained the same.

International trade

The Netherlands offer an ideal platform for international trade, which is one of the most important engines driving the Dutch economy. Products and services delivered to the European Union, America, Asia, and Africa generate more than 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2002, exported goods and services amounted to 235 billion euros, while imported goods and services totaled 204 billion euros.


Commercial services - especially transportation and logistics - is the largest economic sector in the Netherlands. Due to the country's geographic location it is the gateway to the rest of Europe, with two of the largest ports in the world, one a seaport, the other an airport.
The service sector has a lion's share of GDP (nearly 70 percent) and produces as much as half of the net national income. About 80 percent of the Dutch labour force works in this sector.


The industrial sector plays a smaller, yet important role in the Dutch economy. The main industrial sectors in the Netherlands are food, beverages and tobacco industries and the chemicals and petroleum industries.Dutch industry consists of a lot of small and mediumsized, and a few (very) large concerns. Some of the top international companies started out in the Netherlands. The best known are Philips, Unilever, Heineken, Shell, Oce and Akzo Nobel.


The Netherlands has about 300 companies with biotechnological activities, covering all sectors. Almost 90 percent of these also have one or more bases abroad, and most companies are export oriented. Additionally. many leading foreign companies have located their European biotechnology activities in the Netherlands, testifying to the country's excellent biotechnological infrastructure, industrial setting and gateway to Europe distribution function.
The Netherlands has been one of the European member states leading the development towards a careful legislative system. Although this has lead to a tight legal oversight, government, industry and critical organizations have constructively aimed to keep it workable and safe.
Because of the open character of the Netherlands, the good legal framework and the wide acceptation of biotechnological progress, the Netherlands increasingly serves as a test market for companies seeking successful introduction of their products on the European market.

Other sectors

Other important sectors of the Dutch economy are the energy and agricultural sectors. The energy sector is based on the production of natural gas (the Netherlands produces in excess of 80 trillion cubic metres of gas per year) and the refining of crude oil.
In agriculture the Dutch are famous for their cheese and flowerbulbs, but are also major exporters of eggs, other dairy and horticulture products.

Gateway to Europe

gateway to europeThe Netherlands has two important gateways: the Port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Rotterdam is home to the world's largest and busiest harbour. Rotterdam is also Europe's largest container seaport. Over 55 percent of all cargo handled in Rotterdam is transferred to other, mainly European, countries, with Dutch trucks bringing products as far as Istanbul or Moscow. Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport is among the top five most active cargo centres in Europe, providing specialized distribution facilities on a free-port basis. Together these gateways make up Mainport Europe: one of the largest distribution hubs, supported by advanced technology and logistics infrastructure. As much as 66 percent of all EU-citizens (244 million consumers) can be reached from the Netherlands on a 'next day delivery' basis.

More force

Together with a strong physical and service infrastructure, a multilingual and highly educated workforce and an Internet-ready environment, the Netherlands is a great economic powerhouse, open to all (international) companies that want to put even more force into it.