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 was the second multinational corporation in the world (the british east india company was founded two years earlier) and 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. between 1602 and 1796 the voc sent almost a million europeans to work in the asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of asian trade goods having been set up in 1602, to profit from the malukan spice trade, in 1619 the voc established a capital in the port city of batavia (now jakarta). over the next two centuries the company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory. it remained an important trading concern and paid an 18% annual dividend for almost 200 years.