West Europe Business has long been an economic power and a forerunner in globalization. 170 of the top 500 largest global corporations (Fortune Global 500) have their headquarters in the Western Europe, while Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain are five major West European nations that rank amongst the world’s ten largest countries by GDP.
Even though most nations of Western Europe are part of the larger European Union, it is important to recognize that each has its own strong characteristics based on history, geography, language and culture. The United Kingdom, for example, is a major financial center, Spain and France are recognized as the number one and two tourist destinations in the world, Germany boasts a strong industrial sector, while the Netherlands relies heavily on foreign trade. As such, a successful West Europe business demands insight into local markets and business cultures.