Following the elections and formation of a new Government in the Netherlands, Mr Wouter J. Bos has been appointed Minister of Finance, succeeding Mr Gerrit Zalm.

Before becoming Minister of Finance, Mr Bos, 43 years of age, spent a considerable part of his career in the private sector, working for Shell for ten years (1988-1998) in a variety of consultant and management posts, initially in the Netherlands but also, subsequently, in Romania, Hong Kong and London.

In 1998, he was elected as a member of Parliament for the Partij van de Arbeid - PvdA (social democrats), and held the post of Secretary of State for Finance from 2000 to July 2002. In November 2002, he became leader of the PvdA parliamentary party.

Mr Bos studied political science and economics at the University of Amsterdam, gaining a doctorate in those subjects in 1988.