city of Amsterdam is the capital and the largest city of the Netherlands.
This city which is often associated with canals, windmills, tulip gardens and freewheeling
cannabis selling ‘coffee shops’ has been firmly entrenched on the tourist traveler’s
map for decades. However in spite of its rather laidback reputation, Amsterdam does
possess a serious business side so much so that this city which was once the home
of the world’s first known multinational corporation, the adventurous trading company,
the Dutch East India Company is today regarded as the business and financial capital
of the Netherlands.
Amsterdam was originally founded as a fishing village in the 12th century though
foreign trade contributed a lot to its subsequent growth and development as it soon
became a very important port and a global center for diamonds and finance. Amsterdam
currently has a thriving economy which is dominated by industries like international
trade, banking and financial services and tourism. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange
which is the oldest stock exchange in the world is located in the heart of the city
near Dam Square. This stock exchange was established by the erstwhile Dutch East
Indian Company in the early seventeenth century as it needed an exchange to trade
in the stocks and bonds that it issued. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange was merged
with the Paris Stock Exchange and the Brussels Stock Exchange in 2000 to form the
Euronext Amsterdam bourse which provides for trading in equities, derivatives as
well as clearing and information services.
is home to the headquarters of some of the largest Dutch corporations like ABN Amro(
which has recently been split into two entities, one owned by the Dutch government
and the other owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland group) Akzo Nobel, Heineken International,
ING Group, Ahold, TomTom, Delta Lloyd Group ,and Philips. The headquarters of KLM
Royal Dutch Airlines and the global headquarters of auditing giant, KPMG International
are located nearby in Amstelveen which is also included in metropolitan Amsterdam.
Additionally, the city is also home to the headquarters of some of the largest Dutch
law firms like Nauta Dutil, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroe and Houthoff Buruma who
have their offices in the Zuidas which is one of the city’s main finance and business
from these Dutch corporations, the city also plays host to several international
companies like the Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, American Express, Cisco,
the Sara Lee Corporation, Canon Europa, Mitsubishi Motors Europe, Corporate Express,
UPC Europe and many more. In fact Amsterdam which is equipped with the latest high-tech
facilities, easy telecommunications and several conference and meeting options is
considered to be an extremely business friendly city which is often thought to be
an ideal launch pad city for an international business.
Befitting its status as an important center of world business, Amsterdam is home
to one of the world’s busiest airports, the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol which is
consistently voted one of the best airports in Europe.
airport which is located 17 km to the south west of the city welcomes a whole host
of international legacy carriers as well as several European low cost airlines though
it also functions as a hub for KLM Dutch Airlines which is the oldest airlines in
the world and which since 2004 has been partnered with he French National carrier
Air France. Schipol also functions as the European hub for the largest airline
in the world, the US carrier Delta Airlines. Schipol is conveniently connected to Amsterdam’s
other transport hub, its Centraal Station by train.
Amsterdam Centraal Station plays host to several national and international services
like the high speed Thalys train service which connects Amsterdam to Cologne, Brussels
and Paris. The city is also well served by an efficient public transport network
which is made up of trams, buses, the metro and taxis though it can also be easily
navigated on foot and on bicycle.. All these various factors have contributed to
making Amsterdam a preferred destination on both the business and leisure traveler’s
map and the city annually receives about four million international visitors who
arrive at its shores on business or even just to take its world famous attractions
like the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, The Rembrandt House Museum and its colorful
red light district, De Wallen which is the designated area in the city for legalized
To cater to the needs of these visiting hordes the city is also
equipped with numerous hotels which suit a wide array of budgets and include business
traveler favored properties like the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam which is
a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city’s financial district, Hotel Seven
on Seven, Hotel Artemis Amsterdam which is a contemporary business hotel located
between the city center and the airport and The Dylan which is a stylish, boutique
hotel housed in a 17th century landmark building near one of the city’s canals.
However when traveling to Amsterdam, business travelers must take note of the fact
that many Dutch business establishments do not accept credit cards but readily accept
Bank or Debit though the city is also well equipped with numerous ATMs which dispense
the official currency, the Euro at all times.
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