Coordinating Audit Functions in the European Union
Edited by Milagros Garciá Crespo
1 Saskia J. Stuiveling and Rudi W. Turksema THE NETHERLANDS – INTRODUCTION Economic and General Information With a surface area of less than 42,000 square kilometres and a population of some 16 million, the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Half of the land requires constant protection against ﬂooding. The country’s development has been inﬂuenced to a large extent by its situation at the estuary of the rivers Rhine, Maas and Scheldt. A few facts and ﬁgures. Rotterdam is the largest port in the world, a position that it has occupied for over 30 years. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the four largest in Europe. Dutch freight companies account for 40 per cent of waterborne freight and a quarter of overland freight in the European Union. The Netherlands is one of the world’s major agricultural exporters and the largest producer of natural gas in Western Europe. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, but the seat of the head of state and the government is in The Hague. This is why the Netherlands Court of Audit – like many other government bodies – is located in The Hague. The Dutch economy is heavily oriented towards the services sector, with around 60 per cent of GDP coming from this source. A further 30 per cent comes from the manufacturing sector and agriculture contributes much of the remainder. The Netherlands has been a major trading nation for centuries, with banking, shipping and general commerce contributing to...
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