The Netherlands is located in the western part of the European Continent. Much of the country was originally formed by the estuaries of three large European rivers: the Rhine (Rijn), the Meuse (Maas) and the Scheldt (Schelde). 26% of the land is below sea level. Its long-term fight against flooding has developed world-class technologies in water management. The Netherlands covers an area of 41,500 square kilometers, ranking number 138 in the world, only bigger than Taiwan by the area of Yonghe District of New Taipei City. However, the total export value of Dutch agricultural and food products reaches €94 billion with agricultural products accounting for €85 billion, making the Netherlands the second-largest agricultural exporter after US, which is about 270 times bigger than Netherlands. The GDP per capita of the Netherlands is US$48,472, 2.73 times the world average. It is also the country with the best work-life balance on the “Better Life Index.”
In 2017, the Netherlands ranked third on the Global Innovation Index (GII), only after Switzerland and Sweden. According the Times Higher Education World University Rankings from 2017 to 2018, all the 13 universities in the Netherlands ranked top 200, and 7 of them made to the world’s top 100. As of October this year, the number of students going to study in the Netherlands from Taiwan increased to 500, an increase of 461% compared to 2001.
The Netherlands is Taiwan's largest investor. According to the statistics of the Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands invested 1.895 billion US dollars (about NT$56.13 billion) in 2017, ranked first in the world. The Netherlands is Taiwan's second largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade reaching US$8.5 billion. It is worth mentioning that in 2017, the largest increase in visitors to the Netherlands in the world was from Taiwan, which was 78% more than in 2016 and nearly doubled in the second largest Iceland (40%).