The Netherlands is also one of the richest countries in the world, with a per capita GDP of almost $50,000. The economy is highly developed and prosperous, and is highly dependent on foreign trade. The country normally has full employment, low inflation, a large current account surplus and a low budget deficit. The major industries in the Netherlands are financial services and banking, travel and tourism telecommunications, automotive, IT services, hardware and electronics, and consumer goods. The Netherlands was affected by the Financial Crisis of 2007- 2008 and the ensuing global economic slowdown, and steps were taken to reform the Dutch financial system, stimulate the economy, and protect key industries. More recently, GDP has been growing once again, at rates of about 2% per annum. The Netherlands was a founding member of the EU, the OECD and the WTO, and is a member of the Eurozone and Schengen Area.
Investors and entrepreneurs who make a qualifying investment in the Netherlands may acquire a residency permit for themselves and their families. Given the strategic location of the Netherlands, its high quality of life, and its vibrant economy, this is an attractive option for the international investor. Residents may travel around the 26-member Schengen area without a visa for stays of up to 60 days. Furthermore, citizenship may be applied for after five years of residence in the Netherlands. Residents of the Netherlands enjoy numerous benefits such as access to a world-class education system and excellent healthcare. A dynamic economy and favorable tax system, and a highly-educated, multi-lingual workforce make it the perfect place to do business. The Netherlands offers the complete package to those looking for a second residency option.