Pest Analysis (Netherlands)

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Country Risk Analysis
The Netherlands

Table of Contents

1. Introduction3
1.1 Background3
1.2 General Facts3
2. Political Risk Factors4
2.1 Political Structure Analysis4
2.2 Key Internal Political Risks5
2.3 Key External Political Risks6
3. Economic Risk Factors7
3.1 The Real Sector7
3.2 The Public Sector8
3.3 The Monetary Sector8
3.4 The External Sector9
3.5 The Labour Market10
3.6 Economic Risk Assessment11
4. Social Risk Factors13
4.1 Social Spectrum of Netherlands13
4.2 Key Social Risks14
5. Technical Risk Factors16
5.1 Living and Working Environment16
5.2 Key Technical Risks17
6. Conclusion18
Students Declaration22

1. Introduction
1.1 Background
Netherlands is a part of the mainland Western Europe, densely populated and recognized globally for its windmills and Clogs. The Dutch United Provinces proclaimed their independence in 1579 from Spain. During the 17th century, the Dutch United colonies gained a reputation as a leading seafaring and commercial power. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815 after it regained independence from a 20-year French occupational regime. The Netherlands is a modern and industrialized nation with a service-oriented economy, which depends heavily of foreign trade. Netherlands has a strong international role as evidenced by being the founding member of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

1.2 General Facts
* Full name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands
* Population: 16.6 million (UN, 2009)
* Capital: Amsterdam; seat of government: the Hague
* Dependencies: Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
* Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany * Area: 41,864 sq km (16,164 sq miles)
* Major language: Dutch
* Major religion: Christianity
* Export commodities: Machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs * GDP per Capita: $ 47,042

2. Political Risk Factors

2.1 Political Structure Analysis
Introduction to Political Structure of Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy (since 1815) and a parliamentary democracy (since 1848). Dutch monarch has no real political power: from the representative side - head of state (Queen Beatrix), from the executive side - person uniting the divided parliamentary politics. Thus, the Netherlands is usually governed by an alliance of different political parties. Prime minister comes from the party, which won the most seats in the elections, and forms the new government. These days Dutch government is in uncertain situation due to its collapse in mid-February 2010. Whichever government alliance comes to power after the June 2010 election will continue to focus on managing the after-effects of the political and financial crisis.

Limits of press freedom
Dutch constitution guarantee freedom of the press, as is free speech. Moreover, journalists don’t present flagrant news in the light of tabloid sensationalism. But government limits press freedom establishing rules especially regarding country's secret service. Every day there is paper's confrontation with the government. Journalists have to make out where are secret information and not. And government needs to clarify “free speech” statement. (see Appendix 1, Event 1)

2.2 Key Internal Political Risks
Political unrest in the light of financial crises
Decision-making of financial crises results is held up at least until the general election in June due to the collapse of the government in mid-February. The two main parties failed to agree on whether or not to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as planned in 2010 and it served the main reason for government breakup. (see Appendix 1, event 2) Indeed, the future of a new road pricing suggestion ("the kilometre tax"), based on charging motorists for the distance and time driven, has become...
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