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The Netherlands is a low-lying country with around a quarter of its territory at or below sea level. Many parts of the Netherlands are protected from flooding by dykes and sea walls and much of the land has been reclaimed from the sea. The Netherlands has a long coastline with the North Sea and borders Belgium to the south and Germany to the east.
The most important sectors of the Netherlands’ economy in 2012 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.7 %), industry (19.4 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.6 %).
The Netherlands’ main export partners are Germany, Belgium and France, while its main import partners are Germany, China and Belgium.
Year of EU entry: 1957
Capital city: Amsterdam
Total area: 41 540.4 km²
Population: 16 730 348 (2012)
Currency: Eurozone member since 1 January 1999
Schengen area: Member since 14 June 1985