Period 7 Row #5
Background Paper: The Netherlands
Economically, The Netherlands depends heavily on foreign trade and is known
for their stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable
current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub.
GDP-per capita is $31,700 as of 2006.
The Euro is the official currency.
Netherlands export machinery and transport equipment, chemical products, mineral fuels,
They import machinery and transport equipment, chemical products,
fuels, such as petroleum, foodstuffs, and clothing.
Their trading partners are members of
the EU, especially Germany and the United States, but others include Belgium, China,
Spain, France, UK, Italy, and Russia.
Some of the most common economic activities are
fishing, shipbuilding, and the export of agriculture.
The service industries combined
account for more than 70 percent of the economy and employ more than 70 percent of the
workforce. From government services to tourism, banking, and business and personal
services, the Netherlands has one of the strongest service economies in the EU.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy with a
constitutional and hereditary monarchy.
Queen Beatrice of the House of Orange has been
the head of state since 1980.
Executive power is given to the cabinet that is responsible
to the lower house of parliament.
This parliament is known as the States-General and is
The Eerste Kamer is the upper house that has 75 members who are elected for
6-year terms by the cabinet.
The Tweede Kamer is the lower house that has 150