Netherlands eighth on most economically competitive list

Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons)Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons)

After 13 years of absence, the Netherlands is back in the top 10 of the most competitive countries in the world, according to IMD's annual World Competitive Yearbook. The Netherlands came in 8th place this year, climbing 7 spots since last year, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Swiss economic research institute IMD attributes the Netherlands ascend on the list to economic recovery. "Looking at the domestic activity, real growth per capita, employment and especially to the incoming and outgoing investment, it is clear that the Netherlands has taken steps." IMD economist Jose Cabellero said at the presentation of the report on Monday.

For this ranking IMD looked at 340 criteria in four categories. The Netherlands performed slightly better in three of the four - economic performance, efficiency in business and infrastructure.

The only category in which the Netherlands fell back somewhat is the category of government efficiency. The field of taxation in particular is a concern, specifically when it comes to taxes affecting workers and consumers. Business taxes are reasonably effective, according to the report.

If the Netherlands wants to continue climbing in the rankings, Cabellero recommends significantly more investments in research and development, both from the government and industry. Other recommendations include increasing productivity by using more digitization technologies and modernizing labor market regulations, particularly on the protection of workers.

All in all the Netherlands scored 91.3 points out of a total 100. Hong Kong came in 1st place with full marks, followed by Switzerland in 2nd place with 98.0 and the United States in third with 97.9.