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Eurogates

The Netherlands named 3rd most competitive nation in Europe

Rankings 25 July 2014, 09:19

The World Economic Forum recently published their “Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report” in which the Netherlands is identified as the 3rd most competitive nation in Europe. The report assessed 28 countries in the three main areas of smart growth, inclusive growth, and sustainable growth.

Dam Square, AmsterdamThe World Economic Forum recently published their “Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report” in which the Netherlands is identified as the 3rd most competitive nation in Europe. The report assessed 28 countries in the three main areas of smart growth, inclusive growth, and sustainable growth. Each country was given points based on 7 pillars: Enterprise Environment, Digital Agenda, Innovative Europe, Education and Training, Labour Market and Employment, Social Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability. These points contributed to the overall score and ranking of each country.

The results of the Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report

The top five countries are all located in northern Europe:

  1. Finland took first place with a score of 5.7 out of a possible 7.0, followed by
  2. Sweden (5.55),
  3. The Netherlands (5.41),
  4. Denmark (5.32), and
  5. Germany (5.28).

The bottom five countries consisted of Croatia (3.87), Hungary (3.83), Greece (3.79), Bulgaria (3.75), and Romania (3.64).

With this result, the Dutch have overtaken Denmark who has fallen to 4th place since the last report published in 2012. The increase in the Netherlands’ score is in large part due to the country’s strong performance in the areas of smart growth and social inclusion. Having the most developed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Europe has also boosted the ranking.

Detailed Netherlands performance

This year’s report shows the Netherlands continuing to perform very well, scoring among the top countries in many of the different areas that were assessed. The Dutch were 3rd overall in the areas of smart growth and inclusive growth. The country is also one of the top countries in Europe with a very pro-business operating environment, scoring 3rd overall.

Library in the Radboud University NijmegenThe Netherlands was at the top of the list when assessing the ICT sector and, in combination with a well-performing educational system that came in 2nd overall, high levels of innovation are evident in this service-based economy. This will allow for strong growth in the future as can already be seen by the high level of social inclusion in the country (2nd overall).

Effective government policies on poverty and inequality (2nd overall, with only 14.9% of the population at risk) and access to public services such as healthcare (6th) also bode well for the future of the Netherlands. The country performed exceptionally well in the Education and Training pillar of the report, scoring between 2nd and 6th overall in the 7 different categories assessed.

In order to further improve, the country must work to alleviate the rigidities of its labour market. The economic downturn of the past few years has caused the Dutch to be only 9th in terms of access to loans and other financial securities and has caused higher rates of unemployment. However, by continuing to invest in public and private productivity-enhancing assets in the ICT, research and development, and training and education sectors, the country should be able to reduce unemployment rates and offer employers and employees the flexibility and security they need. The report suggests looking at and implementing certain “flexicurity” models of employment that are seen in Scandinavian countries in order to reduce these rigidities. Another area to improve in is environmental sustainability, where the Dutch ranged from being 7th to 22nd overall, scoring a position of 13 out of 28 countries.

Read the full report (.pdf) for detailed results and more information about its assessment criteria and research procedures.

See more great achievements of the small country the Netherlands.

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