The Netherlands Reclaims Top 5 Spot in IMD World Competitiveness Ranking

With top positions on technological infrastructure (#1), labor market (#2), finance (#2) and international trade (#3), the Netherlands is excellently positioned for sustainable growth.

Dutch mobility

Back in the top 5 of the IMD Competitiveness ranking, the Netherlands stands out most in areas that contribute to innovation and sustainable prosperity. The Dutch investment in innovation infrastructure, access to talent, its competitive labor market and strong financial network and international trade links contributed to the Netherlands’ top position in the ranking.

Investments strengthening the technological infrastructure

The Dutch have invested significantly in strengthening the innovation infrastructure in the country over the past years. Examples are the €20 billion National Growth Fund, various funding options dedicated to public-private partnerships and the establishment of a wide network of R&D, testing and validation facilities. These measures provide ample opportunities to companies with innovative, future-proof solutions. Securing the number 1 position on technological infrastructure in the World Competitiveness Ranking is a strong affirmation that these efforts are paying off.

A competitive labor market in the Netherlands

Access to the right talent in the Netherlands is also a major force of attraction for foreign companies. The country fosters a robust university system, with 11 top 250 universities that produce some of the best graduates in Europe. The Dutch work force is diverse, digitally skilled, multilingual, and embraces a healthy work-life balance. Talent is trained and nurtured through various programs which are aimed at a variety of career stages. In addition, the high quality of life makes it relatively easy to attract highly skilled international talent to the Netherlands.

Strongest points of attraction, according to executives

A third of the data that is used for the overall ranking results consists of responses from an Executive Opinion Survey. According to Senior Executives, the high educational level, reliable infrastructure, skilled workforce, open and positive attitudes and strong R&D culture were major points of attraction of the Dutch economy.

Trends in the World Competitiveness Ranking

With Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, and Singapore accompanying the Netherlands in the top 5, this year’s World Competitiveness Ranking is dominated by small economies with good access to markets. IMD attributes this trend to the need for agility in the unpredictable, multi-challenged world of today. Additionally, countries scoring higher on the competitiveness ranking have in common that they have strong and efficient institutions and generate prosperity for their people.

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Ranking

6 July 2023

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