World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index

The Netherlands has the sixth most competitive economy in the world, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF ranks the Netherlands in the sixth position in its influential global competitiveness index, which assesses the world’s biggest economies using almost 100 different indicators, including life expectancy, access to talent and press freedom.

Amstel Amsterdam aerial view at sunset Hanna Hachula

The Netherlands performs particularly well on its institutions, ranking fourth globally, and in its protection of property rights and ethics and transparency. The report also states that “the Netherlands’ economy is particularly strong on openness, which manifests itself in many dimensions. The country’s open innovation environment is marked by forgiving cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurial failure, a great willingness to delegate authority, entrepreneurs who are willing to embrace disruptive ideas, and fast-growing innovative companies.”

Great infrastructure and high quality education

In the Netherlands, the report says, businesses are as easy to set up as they are to dissolve, while it ranks fourth globally for infrastructure, with the report praising its connectivity through “high-quality roads, railroads and waterways… digital technologies and physical infrastructure such as seaports and airports”. The country is also praised for its “very high quality of education” that encourages critical thinking, where the Netherlands ranks seventh globally.

Strong standing

Other recent rankings serve to underline the strong standing of the Netherlands. Forbes ranked the Netherlands at third place in its top ten list of countries for global business in 2018, and it came second in the Global Innovation Index 2018 – a report that ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators.

For more rankings and surveys positioning Amsterdam and the Netherlands in a global business context, see our overview of Amsterdam tech and startup rankings, our list of reports related to Amsterdam’s status as innovation capital and our Amsterdam rankings toolkit.