Continuing to grow worldwide

In this year’s edition of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Netherlands came in at fourth place worldwide, and first place in Europe. Overtaking Germany this year, the Netherlands is now the EU’s most competitive economy, and on the global stage it trails behind only Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States.

The report, published by the World Economic Forum, ranks 138 countries around the world. Published since 1979, the index is now the world’s most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness, taking the world's economic temperature as it ranks its various economies.

Stability and innovation

The Netherlands’ high score was attributable to its world-class infrastructure, high-quality health care, excellent higher education system, and the continued focus on innovation. Thanks to cooperation between companies, knowledge institutions, and governments, the country has been able to create an environment where innovation can quickly be created and implemented. The report also says that Dutch government policy has actively contributed to strengthening the country’s competitive position.

As the Netherlands’ Minister Economic Affairs Henk Kamp said (Dutch link), "There is a lot to be proud of in Netherlands. This report shows that we have one of the most advanced and innovative economies in the world. We have achieved this strong position together with businesses, knowledge institutions, and governments.”

Since 2005, the Netherlands has continuously scored among the top ten in terms of the world’s most competitive economies. The Netherlands is currently the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, and the 18th-largest in the world, despite having a population of only about 17 million people. The Dutch economy is noted for its stability, low unemployment, and its important role as a European transportation hub, with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol being one of the leading airports in Europe.