Chapter 1

The Netherlands and the world

Traditionally, the Netherlands has been focused strongly on foreign countries. As the Netherlands is a small country, it depends on foreign countries to obtain various products. Still there are products which the Netherlands can produce itself but which come from abroad nevertheless. This has to do with the costs involved. After all, it makes sense to import products that are made more cheaply in other countries from those countries and to focus on products that we can produce at a lower price ourselves. This is called international division of labour. It means that every country focuses on products to which they have a competitive advantage.