Relations between the Netherlands and Hong Kong

The formal relationship between the Netherlands and Hong Kong dates back to 1857, when the first Dutch Consul in Hong Kong took up his duties. Today, relations are thriving. According to data from the Hong Kong census and statistics department, the Netherlands is the second largest investor in Hong Kong after Mainland China and before the United States of America, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom, leaving out investments from tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. There are around 250 Dutch companies represented in Hong Kong.

(Source: Netherlands Consul General in Hong Kong)

The Economy

The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 2% of the labour force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country is one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment.

The Netherlands, which derives more than two-thirds of GDP from merchandise trade, had strongly positive balance of payments for 2005 estimated at €31.5 billion. [link cbs] Leading export markets (2005) are Germany with 25.1%, Belgium with 12.2% and the United Kingdom and France with both 9.4%. Leading suppliers (2004) are Germany (17%), Belgium (9.4%), China (8.8%) and the United States (7.8%). As becomes clear from these figures, Germany is by far the most important trading partner of The Netherlands. Leading foreign investors in the Netherlands (2005) are the United States with 18.5%, the United Kingdom (14.1%), Germany (12.0%) and Belgium (10.1%).

(Source: CIA World Factbook)

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