High levels of ICT uptake 

The report compares the use of ICT in 143 different countries, ranking them in categories such as business environment, infrastructure and workforce, and places the Netherlands fourth in its overall ranking. Singapore tops the list, followed by Finland and Sweden. The Netherlands stands out with one of the most conducive business and innovation environments (eighth place) in the world. Its well-developed infrastructure (14th) and highly skilled workforce (6th) allow for very high levels of ICT uptake. 

Digital nation

Almost the entire Dutch population uses the internet on a daily basis, and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is one of the most densely cabled areas in the country. This, again, prompts more internet activities. Online banking, for example, has been widely adopted in the Netherlands for years, with 86 per cent of internet users managing all or part of their financial affairs online. Companies engaging in online retail profit from the outstanding digital connections as well and have become increasingly popular. In 2014, the percentage of online shoppers rose to 77 per cent, according to the latest numbers by Statistics Netherlands.  

Home to talent

Consequently, ICT has a significant impact on the Dutch economy, with companies using ICT to develop new products and services. Moreover, the country has one of the highest percentages of workers employed in knowledge intensive jobs, the report states. Many highly educated professionals live and work in the Amsterdam Area – the region is home to a pool of 250,000 experienced ICT professionals, and 55 per cent of them hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree. As a result, many companies come to Amsterdam to tap into this attractive labour pool.