The Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC, "United East India Company") was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. It is often considered to have been the first multinational corporation in the world and it was the first company to issue stock. It was also arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies.Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in the Asia trade.
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