Economic and cultural openness

According to Forbes, the Netherlands’ high ranking “reflects the country’s long history of economic openness as a great trading nation”. The business magazine continues by pointing out that “the Dutch remain strongly internationally-minded and hospitable toward foreigners, as evidenced by the fact that 90% or more of the population speaks English.” Infrastructure and strategic position are also mentioned as advantages for the Netherlands, which is labelled a “strategic gateway to European markets” and “an excellent location to operate from.”

Positive business environment and high quality of life

Forbes’ ranking looks at factors also used to compile its Global Exchange Index (GEI), which compares the world’s largest recipients of foreign direct investment. Aspects that were considered include a country’s business environment, the cost of living in capital cities and quality of life for expats. Only Singapore and Switzerland rank higher than the Netherlands.

Strong standing

Other recent rankings serve to underline the strong standing of the Netherlands. The country comes second in the Global Innovation Index 2018 – a report that ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators – and the EY Global Attractiveness Survey 2018 proclaims the Netherlands as a consistently solid investment destination.

Amsterdam in an international context

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.