The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks the Netherlands as the fourth economy in its Global Competitiveness Index, behind Switzerland, Singapore and the United States. With the fourth place, the Netherlands passes Germany, which fell to fifth place. This makes the Netherlands the most competitive economy in the European Union. The position of the Netherlands is mainly due to the high quality of infrastructure, health and education.
It is the highest ranking the Netherlands has achieved, since the WEF started the index in 2004. In 2014, the Netherlands occupied the eighth position. "There is a good chance that the Netherlands will move up another place next year," Rotterdam Professor Henk Volberda said in the FD. "Third place is possible next year if the WEF changes its methodology. Human capital, the dynamics of companies and innovative strength are likely to be assigned more weight. As a result, the US may fall a little.”
“Even second place is possible,” Volberda continues in the FD. “However, this will require additional labour market reforms. The process of lending to businesses, which is currently still an 'Achilles heel’, also needs to be improved. The government and companies would also have to invest significantly more in R&D."
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