26 July 2017

The Netherlands in top 5 of most competitive countries

After fifteen years, the Netherlands returns to the top 5 of most competitive countries in the world. The Netherlands has risen three positions from place 8 to place 5. IMD economist José Caballero explains the increase is due to the strong economic performance and the improvement of government efficiency. The IMD yearly publishes the World Competitiveness Yearbook, a study published annually since 1989.

"Looking at domestic activity, the focus on increasing productivity, and in particular investments, it is clear that the Netherlands is well placed," said Caballero. In addition, he praises Dutch social flexibility. Thanks to the good education and skills of the working population, Dutch people are well able to adapt to changing circumstances. 'Like no other, the Netherlands is able to incorporate ideas from outside.' 

More efficient government 

For their rankings, IMD did research on 260 criteria in four categories. 

For the Netherlands, there are improvements in two of these categories: efficiency in business and government efficiency. In the category of economic performance, the Netherlands is stable at a high level, but in infrastructure we have lost a place, although there are still only seven countries in the world that are still in this area. In addition to the measure of efficiency, the Netherlands has taken good steps in the past year, especially with regard to the effectiveness of regulation and the legal framework. In this regard, it is possible to create highly flexible legal entities which can be tailored to investors’ needs. In addition, the Dutch tax corporate tax system remains particularly attractive for businesses. While the Dutch government endorses and implements the OECD’s proposals against base erosion and profits shifting (BEPS), the Dutch government is determined to maintain the crown jewels of the Dutch corporate and international tax system; i.e. the Dutch tax treaty network, the Dutch participation exemption and the possibility to obtain certainty in advance through the conclusion of tax rulings with the Dutch tax authorities. 

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