Netherlands down one place in IMD competitiveness ranking

Netherlands down one place in IMD competitiveness ranking

The Netherlands has placed 15th on the 2015 edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, having dropped by one position since 2013 and 2014. Back in 2012, the Netherlands was ranked 11th.

The World Competitiveness Ranking

The annual IMD study measures how successful countries are as places to do business, by examining how well they convert their resources and competencies into long-term prosperity - for example, by generating jobs and providing social welfare.

This year, its index covers 61 economies.

Factoring in more than 100 criteria, this 2015 report is based mostly on statistical indicators supplemented by a survey of more than 6.200 international executives.

The 2015 results

As in previous years, the United States tops the ranking due to its "business efficient" orientation, strong economic infrastructure and a vigorous financial sector.

Business efficiency, which was a noted characteristic of nine out of the top 10 performers on the index, refers to how conducive an environment is to innovative, responsible and profitable business activity.

It requires high productivity levels, which are linked to factors such as labour market health and a climate that supports sound financial practices and business attitudes.

Among European economics, the after-effects of the economic crisis impact business efficiency. Whereas Greece and Luxembourg have improved notably in this regard, Germany’s fall from sixth to 10th place in the overall rankings is a result of a drop in business efficiency.

In Asia, poor or aging infrastructure weakens the competitiveness of many countries, though Taiwan, the Philippines, China and South Korea are showing improvement.

Meanwhile, the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine is causing market volatility in parts of Eastern Europe, negatively affecting competitiveness.

Prof. Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, notes that businesses in the countries with the highest scores in this year’s index are "going back to the basics" - focusing on productivity and efficiency through strong organisational structures and minimal environmental impact.

Goals for the Netherlands

According to the IMD, the Dutch economy faces two principle challenges to its competitiveness.

Firstly, it needs to do more to increase the purchasing power of its population. This would mean decreasing the tax burden and pension contributions, freeing up more opportunity for people to contribute to the economy in other ways.

The IMD also recommends that the Netherlands strive to increase its export levels to non-EU markets.

The top 10 competitive economies in 2015

2 (China) Hong Kong
3 Singapore
4 Switzerland
5 Canada
6 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Denmark
9 Sweden
10 Germany
Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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