After three years, the Netherlands has returned to the top three of the annual, leading Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of the EU. Companies and the government are making additional investments, for example via the National Growth Fund, in the digitization of the (manufacturing) industry, in research and the application of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), microelectronics such as photonics and chips, quantum and cloud applications. In addition, the Dutch fixed and mobile internet remains world class. In the ranking, the Netherlands is third behind the new leader Finland and Denmark.
The DESI ranks European countries in terms of the quality of the digital infrastructure, the extent and manner in which businesses do business digitally, use of digital applications by and skills of residents and the digital services provided by the government itself. The Dutch digital infrastructure via fixed and mobile networks continues to rank second.
Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs and Climate): "Digitalization, together with sustainability, is 1 of the 2 major changes of our time. Private and public investment in this is necessary to stimulate innovation - and thus jobs and income - and reduce dependence of (semi) products from outside the EU. It is good to see that our joint efforts have already improved the Dutch position, but these challenges continue to require an active commitment from companies and government: when it comes to training, cybersecurity, digital infrastructure and a better functioning digital market.”
Business is making more use of technology
In recent years, Dutch entrepreneurs have made increasing use of digital technologies in their (production) processes and are increasingly exploiting the opportunities offered by online sales. In the meantime, an average of 15 percent of total turnover in Dutch SMEs comes from online activities. With the use of social media, cloud applications and the use of data, the business community is even ahead of the EU. As a result, the Netherlands rises to position number four in the EU. In its report, the European Commission notes that (additional) Dutch investments in, for example, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum and microelectronics are crucial for maintaining the Dutch economic position and thus strengthening the overall growth of Europe.
Compared to other EU countries, the Dutch remain well above average in digital skills. The same applies to the range and quality of digital government services. The number of available IT specialists continues to grow steadily, but does not yet meet the market demand. When it comes to the number of ICT graduates, the Netherlands scores slightly below the EU average.