The Netherlands takes top spot in the EU in 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Report

The Netherlands takes top spot in the EU in 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Report

According to research from the World Economic Forum (WEF), which rated countries for their global competitiveness, the Netherlands ranks fourth globally and number one in the EU. This is the second year in a row that the Netherlands has come out on top in the EU.

Global Competitiveness Report

The study conducted by the WEF looked at 137 countries and ranked them according to 12 pillars. These pillars are: Institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, good market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

According to the Erasmus University, who are partners of the WEF, the Netherlands did well due to its strong foundations in infrastructure, in which it ranked 3/137, just below Hong Kong SAR and Singapore, and macroeconomic policies, for which it took 14th place - eight places higher than the previous year. Infrastructure is especially important in such a densely populated country.

Switzerland, the United States and Singapore beat the Netherlands in the Global Competitiveness Report and took first, second and third place respectively. Ranking just after the Netherlands, in fifth place, was Germany.

Innovation and education in the Netherlands

This year, despite offering excellent higher education, the Netherlands fell one place in the higher education and training ranking. They did, however, climb one place in innovation.

According to Business Studies professor, Henk Volberda, from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands is a frontrunner in terms of implementing the new technologies that constitute the fourth industrial revolution. However, to be able to face the challenges this revolution brings, investment in higher education is essential.

Top 10 most competitive economies globally

The following countries scored in the top 10 of the Global Competitiveness Index:

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

Read more



Leave a comment