Country/ Regional information

Country information is an important part of your business research. This information gives you insights into economic, political, social and cultural factors that influence consumer behaviour in a country, among others. Understanding these factors is crucial for companies looking to expand into new markets or develop marketing strategies for existing markets.

Different factors

Here are some specific reasons why country information is needed for business research:

  1. Economic factors: economic factors of a country, such as GDP, inflation rates and unemployment rates, can significantly influence consumer behaviour and purchasing power. For example, a country with a strong economy and high employment rates may have consumers with more disposable income, increasing demand for certain products or services.
  2. Political factors: A country's political stability and policies can also affect consumer behaviour and business. For example, a country with a stable political environment is more likely to attract foreign investment, while a country with a lot of corruption or political unrest may discourage foreign companies from operating there.
  3. Social factors: A country's social and cultural norms can influence consumer behaviour and preferences. For example, some cultures may have strong traditions around gift-giving, leading to greater demand for certain products during holidays or special occasions.
  4. Legal factors: A country's legal framework can also influence business activities and consumer behaviour. For instance, certain products may be banned or subject to strict regulations in some countries, while others have more lenient regulations.

In general, understanding the unique characteristics of each country is essential for companies looking to successfully enter or expand into a new market. Country information on the Netherlands and other countries can be found in various resources at the Hanze Library.

Importance of regional and local information

When conducting business research, it is crucial to not only consider broad national trends, but also regional and urban information. These local insights provide valuable information on specific market segments and customer behaviour at a local level, which can ultimately lead to a competitive advantage for companies.

Added value of regional data within business research:

  • Diverse cultures and demographics: Each country, region and city has its own unique culture, traditions and demographics. Consumer behaviour can vary greatly between different areas, even within a country. By understanding how these factors affect purchasing decisions, companies can adapt their marketing strategies to better respond to local preferences and needs.
  • Regional trends and preferences: Trends and preferences can differ significantly between urban and rural areas, as well as between different cities and regions. Analysing these trends on a micro-level helps companies to differentiate and adapt their products and services to specific local markets.
  • Competitive analysis: Locating competition is crucial for companies to understand and strengthen their market position.Understanding the key players at regional and urban level enables organisations to identify their competitive advantage and develop marketing strategies that focus on their strengths.

And this is why it is good to seek urban information:

  • Population density and growth potential: Cities are often known for their high population density and growth potential.Understanding city demographics, such as age groups, income levels and family size, helps companies better define their target audience and develop effective marketing campaigns.
  • Consumption behaviour and lifestyle: Urban consumers may have unique lifestyles and consumption behaviours. For example, preference for convenience stores and online shopping may be higher in cities. Understanding these characteristics enables companies to optimise their distribution strategies and product offerings.
  • Technology adoption: Urban areas often have faster access to new technologies and digital trends. Analysing technology adoption in cities can help companies develop innovative products and implement digital marketing strategies.

Information on cities and regions in the Netherlands and abroad can be found in the library's databases.


Incoterms are a set of 11 internationally recognised rules defining the responsibilities of sellers and buyers. Incoterms specify who is responsible for payment and management of shipping, insurance, documentation, customs clearance and other logistics activities.

Incoterms are a set of 11 separate rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers when selling goods in international transactions. Of primary importance, each Incoterms rule clarifies the duties, costs and risks that buyers and sellers must bear in these transactions.

The Incoterms 2020 rules have been updated and grouped into two categories reflecting modes of transport.Of the 11 rules, seven are for ANY mode(s) of transport and four are for sea, land or inland waterway transport.