The Netherlands maintains 8th position in Global Competitiveness Index

The Netherlands maintains 8th position in Global Competitiveness Index

The Netherlands has the 8th most competitive economy in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2014-15.

The Netherlands was also ranked 8th in 2013.

Post-crisis recovery

The World Economic Forum describes the Netherlands' placement as stable, a sign of post-crisis recovery, after the nation’s ranking dropped from 5th to 8th place between 2012 and 2013.

The WEF underlines that the global economy is moving slowly out of the global financial crisis and the subsequent recession, and that competitiveness is crucial to sustain progress.

Global Top 10 - Competitiveness Index 2014

1 Switzerland
2 Singapore
3 United States
4 Finland
5 Germany
6 Japan
7 Hong Kong
8 Netherlands
9 United Kingdom
10 Sweden

Measuring competitiveness

The Global Competitive Index has been running since 2004. The WEF defines competitiveness as "the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country."

The index assesses the economic competitiveness of 144 nations, based on 12 "pillars" which include institutions, infrastructure, health and education, labour market efficiency, technological readiness, innovation and business sophistication.

The Netherlands’ strongest pillars

The Netherlands is ranked highly in the individual pillars of primary health and education (ranked 5th globally), higher education and training (3rd), infrastructure (4th) and business sophistication (5th).

Weaker pillars for the Netherlands are financial market development and labour market efficiency.

Ranking within Europe

Within Europe, the Netherlands is ranked 4th, behind Switzerland, Finland and Germany.

Switzerland maintains its number one position for the sixth year running, while Finland and Germany are bumped down a place due to the United States’ rise to third ranking. Sweden falls from sixth to 10th place.

European Top 10 - Competitiveness Index 2014

Country 2014 rank 2013 rank
Switzerland 1 1
Finland 4 3
Germany 5 4
Netherlands 8 8
United Kingdom 9 10
Sweden 10 6
Norway 11 11
Denmark 13 15
Belgium 18 17
Luxembourg 19 22

Key findings

The WEF determined three key findings in this year’s report. Firstly, that monetary policy has been the driving force behind the recovery so far, but structural reforms are required to sustain it.

Secondly, smart investment, skills and innovation are needed to strengthen competitiveness and involve people in economic progress.

Thirdly, the WEF believes that the role of the private sector is crucial, and that it must collaborate more with governments and civil society to ensure the effectiveness of any measures that are taken.

The WEF hopes nations will use this index and its findings to help build economic reform agendas for the future.

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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