Netherlands no. 1 in Europe in 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking

Netherlands no. 1 in Europe in 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking

According to the latest competitiveness ranking by IMD, the Netherlands has taken the top spot in Europe and fourth place globally when it comes to competitiveness. 

IMD World Competitiveness Ranking

This year marks the 30th edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings. The rankings are based on 340 competitiveness criteria, which comes from hard data, consisting of statistics from international regional and national sources, and soft data from a survey sent to middle and upper-level managers for each of the 63 economies assessed. Hard data is weighted twice as heavily as soft data.

The hard data that was used examined 143 criteria in the categories of economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Categories were split into factors, such as “prices” to “education”, and sub-factors. Sub-factors were weighted equally, regardless of the number of criteria they contained; some may have needed more criteria for assessment than others.

Soft data in the form of a survey, containing 115 criteria, was used to complement the hard data, as it measures competitiveness as perceived by market participants. The survey quantifies issues that would otherwise be difficult to measure, such as management practices, company agility, corruption and adaptive attitudes.

Netherlands on top in Europe

According to this year’s IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, the Netherlands moves up one place in comparison with 2017 and comes out as number one in Europe and fourth in the world. The ranking reports a balanced path to competitiveness for the Netherlands, as the country scores in the top 10 for economic performance as well as government and business efficiency.

Switzerland follows the Netherlands, moving out of the top four and occupying the fifth position. The country thus drops three places in 2018 in comparison with the previous year. This drop is mainly due to the slowdown in exports.

The countries taking the top positions globally are the USA, Hong Kong and Singapore. The USA moves up three positions and takes the global number one spot due to its top scores in economic performance and infrastructure. Hong Kong scores the best on government and business efficiency, but is unable to hang on to its number one global spot, however.

Top 10 competitive countries globally

The following countries made it into the top 10 of the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking.

1. USA
2. Hong Kong
3. Singapore
4. Netherlands
5. Switzerland
6. Denmark
7. UAE
8. Norway
9. Sweden
10.  Canada

For more information visit the IMD website.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Leave a comment

Femi Adenuga 16:49 | 30 May 2018

Wow! That's what I am talking about

marcheirbaut 14:10 | 21 June 2018

It is rather difficult to take this kind of rankings serious. Countries change position every year, often quite significantly. However, the quality of workforce, infrastructure and eduction does not change significantly each year, I would think.