You are here: Home › Netherlands 2013

Handling the world's goods

The largest in Europe, the port of Rotterdam is the sixth-largest in the world and handles around 440 million tons of cargo a year.

The geographical size of the Netherlands, less than forty-two thousand square meters, belies its huge commanding position in global trade. To facilitate the movement of goods valued at trillions of dollars, the Netherlands has constantly expanded the Port of Rotterdam, the largest in Europe, as well as Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the world’s fourth-busiest in passenger traffic.

“If you are looking for a foothold in continental Europe where business culture is similar to that in the United States, and for a global hub for the United States with excellent logistics possibilities for the rest of Europe and the world, then the Netherlands is the place to be,” said Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans

Over fifty percent of all port activity in Europe is covered by the Netherlands, and the majority through Rotterdam.

“The country is a gateway to the European market, a market with over 500 million wealthy consumers. We have always been dependent on international trade and the business attitude is very much geared towards international business,” explained Bas Pulles, commissioner of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

The Netherlands’ global commercial success is evident in its economic ties with the United States. From 2009 to 2012, the country has been the top destination for U.S. FDI with over 645 billion U.S. dollars, or 14 percent of total U.S. FDI, destined for the Netherlands last year.

“The United States has been by far the largest foreign investor in the Netherlands for the last thirty years. Of six thousand eight hundred companies investing in the Netherlands, there are about one thousand eight hundred from the United States. The Netherlands is the third-largest investor in the United States, providing about seven hundred thousand jobs. These are huge figures for both the Dutch and the U.S. economies,” Pulles said.

The Dutch information technology and creative industries have emerged as strong contributors to the Dutch economy, as shown by the success of companies like TomTom and organizations like Appsterdam.

“I think we in the Netherlands have market leadership in computer vision and computer graphics technology. We’re leveraging that knowledge base,” said Pieter Aarts, CEO of Nedsense, a Dutch technology and design company responsible for the highly successful NedGraphics and the pioneering LOFT technology.

“The connection between the United States and the Netherlands is unique. The United States brings scale, success, and leadership in e-commerce, as well as leadership in winning omnichannel strategies.

What we provide is leadership in technology. That’s why I think that this relationship between the Netherlands and the United States is successful,” Aarts added.

Nedsense recently launched its LOFT technology, a 3D experience tool that allows users to customize existing living and office spaces on their computers, tablets, or mobile devices.

Through LOFT, Nedsense brings together home furnishing makers, real estate companies, and consumers, diversifying sales channels and enhancing customer experience. Naturally, Nedsense looked to the United States as a launching point for their pioneering technology. (See next article.)

“The U.S. market is our primary market to sell LOFT technology. In terms of ecommerce, the U.S. market has been successful, and it’s still growing rapidly, especially in home furnishing,” Aarts said.

Innovation in the Netherlands’ biggest and fastest-growing sectors has showed no signs of slowing down. Given the collobarative culture among government, education, and industry, the country has remained a preferred destination for business and investment, particularly for U.S. firms.

- Note: This Special Report on the Netherlands originally appeared in Foreign Affairs in November 2013. (Credit: Janine Ramirez)

Netherlands 2013 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

Next :  

latest special features:

Upcoming Reports from

Singapore 2017

See Preview »

After celebrating 50 years of independence in 2015, Singapore enters a new phase in its history. With this recalibration, the world is keen to know...

Northwest USA 2017

See Preview »

Global Media Inc. continues its coverage of the United States by returning to the dynamic business environment of Northern California and heading f...

Kazakhstan 2017

See Preview »

2016 was a landmark year for Kazakhstan. It marked the 25th anniversary of the independence of Central Asia’s largest country and establishment of ...

Japan 2017, Part 2

See Preview »

Following a successful report on Tokyo and Osaka, GMI returns to Japan to cover the rest of the country. While Japan, of course, boasts of glob...

Taiwan 2017

See Preview »

Celebrating over 35 years since the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United States share a special bon...

Southern California 2017

See Preview »

During his state visit to the United States in April 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed his confidence that Japan and the United S...




  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.

    Testimonials:

    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile