Netherlands ranks 4th in Global Competitiveness Index

18 Dec 2017 | Genoveva Geppaart

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For already more than 40 years, the World Economic Forum publishes the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). This index measures factors that drive long-term growth and prosperity. It helps policymakers to identify the challenges and the strengths when they have to decide about strategies for economic growth.



In the GCI, competitiveness is defined as “the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy, which in turn sets the level of prosperity that the economy can achieve.” There are 114 indicators used. These indicators are grouped into 12 pillars:

  1. Institutions
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Macroeconomic environment
  4. Health and primary education
  5. Higher education and training
  6. Goods market efficiency
  7. Labour market efficiency
  8. Financial market development
  9. Technology readiness
  10. Market size
  11. Business sophistication
  12. Innovation

These pillars in their turn are divided into three sub indexes:

  • Basic requirements
  • Efficiency enhancers
  • Sophistication factors


Main findings

In the 2017-2018 edition, the Netherlands ranks 4th, after Switzerland, United Sates and Singapore. Worldwide 137 countries have been researched.  The strong position of the Netherlands is because of the strong education system, the high levels of technology readiness amongst businesses and individuals and the thriving innovation system.

In general, there are three main challenges that are relevant for economic progress:

  1. The financial sector remains vulnerable
  2. There are more countries able to innovate, but they must do more to spread the benefits
  3. Market flexibility and worker protection are needed to ensure shared prosperity  the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

You can download the report on


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