According to reports, the economy shrunk in Holland for the first time in 20 years, due to slower exports. Perhaps this is due to the high exchange rates on the euro, or the world economy at large. Unemployment recently rose to 6.6 percent in April 2004 and is still rising.
In spite of this seemingly bad news, the Netherlands ranks eighth in the world as an exporting nation, and the third largest in food exports worldwide. Amazing considering the small size of Holland, with it’s three names for itself.
Whether you call it Dutch, Holland or the Netherlands, this place is still incredibly productive and industrious compared to any other nation on earth.
The highly-educated multilingual country is home to many worldwide banking, insurance and manufacturing companies such as ABN-AMRO, Phillips, and Shell.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is one of the world’s largest transportation hubs, and the port of Rotterdam is on of the biggest transshipment points of global trade.
Very important stuff.
However, there are still some serious drawbacks to doing business in the Netherlands, and old traditions die hard in this country. Holland has the highest rate of temporary workers in the world, and the glass ceiling is firmly in place for women trying to get to the top of any business structure. Women do not exist at the managerial level in the Netherlands, or very rarely. This part-time work mentality leads to masses of people with careers in a virtual loop of always looking for the next job, and no stability. Yet they pride themselves on their flexibility as they flock to the coffeeshops, cafes, bars and restaurants to fuel the service industryu with their hard-earned euros.
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