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WEST offers Summer Intensvie Langauge Course of Major Economic Partner

April 6, 2010
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This summer, WEST will be offering an intensive intermediate Dutch language course that will be taught in Bloomington and is also available online to non-IU graduate students and through the CIC course share.  For students interested in studying 2nd year Dutch, this course will allow you to gain a year of instruction in just six weeks.  Many reasons to study Dutch exist, ranging from art history to politics (the Netherlands will be holding a general election on June 9th), but the Netherlands and Belgium are also two major economies that have strong ties with the U.S., making Dutch a useful language for international business.

The Netherlands is the 16th largest economy in the world, but internationally it punches above its weight.  In 2009, the U.S. exported more than $32.35 billion worth of goods to the Netherlands, including $520 million from Indiana.  As a result, the Netherlands was the 8th largest market for Indiana goods in the world and 4th largest in Europe.  (For more information visit the blog post: 2009 a mixed picture for Indiana’s exports to Western Europe.) Indiana’s exports to the Netherlands grew by 8.18% from 2008 to 2009, which was the 4th highest rate of West European countries.  In 2007 (the last year statistics were available), companies from the Netherlands invested more than $1 trillion into the U.S., including $644 million in Indiana (making it the 7th largest foreign investor in Indiana).

The other major Dutch speaking country in Europe is Belgium, as about 60% of its population speaks Dutch/Flemish.  Belgium also is an open economy with strong economic ties with the U.S. and Indiana.  While Belgium is the 20th largest economy in the world, the U.S. exported $21.63 billion to Belgium, including $360 million from Indiana, making Belgium the 12th largest market in the world for Indiana goods in 2009.  At the same time, Belgian firms invested more than $113 billion in the U.S. in 2007, making it the 10th largest investor in the U.S.  As a result, plenty of opportunities exist that tie Indiana and Dutch speaking countries together economically.

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