WEF: Dutch economy in top position to recover from COVID-19

WEF: Dutch economy in top position to recover from COVID-19

According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Netherlands’ economy is in the fourth-best position in the world to recover from the coronavirus crisis. 

WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2020

In the annual Global Competitiveness Report published by the WEF, a number of world economies are assessed and scored across 11 topics in order to determine the extent to which a country can transform its economy. The 11 areas surveyed are:

  • Strong and reliable public institutions
  • Developed infrastructure and technology
  • A progressive and competitive taxation system
  • Expansive, accessible and innovative eldercare / childcare / healthcare
  • Education that prioritises necessary skills for the future 
  • Facilitate the creation of “markets of tomorrow”
  • Adaptable labour laws and social security system
  • Incentivise long-term investments
  • Incentivise investments into research, innovation and inventions
  • Embrace diversity, equity and inclusion to enhance creativity
  • Rethink competition and anti-trust frameworks to ensure local and international market access

Unlike previous versions of the report, the 2020 edition didn’t provide a conclusive ranking for the competitiveness of economies, but instead indicated which countries had economies that were best able to transform themselves in order to recover from the coronavirus crisis. 

The Netherlands has one of the most prepared economies

The report found that, of the 37 countries assessed, only three countries are more prepared to achieve long-term transformation and recover than the Netherlands, with the country coming in fourth place in the overall ranking. The Netherlands achieved an admirable score due to the country’s high-quality digital economy and the digital skills of the local population which together allows the economy to stay afloat while people work from home

The Netherlands is also praised for its training for the future labour market through the use of reliable public institutions and good social facilities. However, the country performed poorly when it came to taxation, with the report stating that the Dutch tax system wasn’t progressive, and investment in research and innovation for future generations. 

On the whole, the Netherlands achieved a top-five position in five of the 11 categories assessed, which is, according to researcher Henk Colberda who collected the Dutch data for the report, an above-average performance: “Although we are now in a hard lockdown, the Dutch economy is so robust that it can transform itself well out of this crisis. You now hear economists say that the lockdown is bad for our economy. But the Netherlands can handle it well. The expected recovery capacity is great."

The report also concluded that the transition to a greener, more inclusive economy was the answer for long-term recovery, and stated that the Netherlands was one of the countries best prepared for this transition, mostly due to its high standard of infrastructure. The Netherlands also achieved a top-10 position for its social safety net, and nabbed the top spot in the ranking for countries most suited to flexible work arrangements.

The top 10 economies for recovering post-COVID

According to the 2020 report, the 10 economies that are in the best position to adapt and recover from the impact of COVID-19 are:

  1. Denmark
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. The Netherlands
  5. China
  6. Canada
  7. New Zealand
  8. Belgium
  9. Germany
  10. France
  11. Israel

For more information or to read the full report, visit the WEF website.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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