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WEST offers Summer Intensvie Langauge Course of Major Economic Partner

April 6, 2010

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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