Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. However, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector has been severely affected by the crisis, with access to bank finance being particularly difficult.
Dutch banks were put under heavy strains early in the global downturn and have comparatively weak financial buffers to cope with new shocks. Falling house prices have increased the share of households with negative home equity to nearly 35% for home-owning households and 40% for mortgage holders.
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The ability to measure innovation is essential to an improvement strategy in education. This country note analyses how the practices are changing within classrooms and educational organisations and how teachers develop and use their pedagogical resources.
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Country notes highlight some key findings from TALIS 2013 for individual countries and economies
Focused on "Unlocking investment for sustainable growth and jobs", the 2015 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) will be held at the OECD Headquarters in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday 3-4 June 2015, under the chairmanship of the Netherlands, with the Czech Republic, France and Korea as Vice-Chairs.
The Dutch economy has been traditionally very competitive among OECD countries. The global financial crisis however has brought new challenges, especially during the second shock, from 2011 onwards. The government’s recovery plan, which includes various measures such as fiscal consolidation, stimulating innovation and sub-national government reform has an important territorial dimension. This review focuses on how sub-national institutions and development can help the Netherlands meet its challenges. In the short-term, factors such as the contribution of all regions, better use of resources, and more efficient provision of goods and services can help the recovery. In the long term, improving national competitiveness will largely depend on a strong performance of the polycentric city structure, which characterises the Netherlands. The key policy areas explored in this review include: the recently created top-sector innovation policy; decentralisation; and territorial reforms such as municipal and provincial re-scaling through mergers or co-operation.
The Netherlands is gradually emerging from a double-dip recession with strengthened public finances and reforms on track to improve the labour and housing markets and the health care and pension systems. These reforms are paying off, says the OECD. Growth is expected to reach 1% this year and 1.3% in 2015.
Strengthening the balance sheets of banks and households can benefit the economy as a whole. Sharpening innovation policy can contribute to advancing the country’s competitive edge in key sectors. And improving urban and territorial policy can help ensure that Dutch cities maximise their potential in terms of productivity and lifting living standards across the country, said OECD Secretary-General.
Since the last review in 2008, the Netherlands has attracted investment in oil and gas storage; coal, oil and gas import terminals; and efficient power plants. This additional capacity provides flexibility and energy security both in the Netherlands and across EU markets. However, the outlook for Europe’s second-largest producer of natural gas is challenging amid declining gas production and uncertain prospects for unconventional gas. Developing the remaining natural gas potential, the market integration and ensuring the security of supply and resilience of the energy infrastructure during the transition should be top priorities.
The Netherlands stimulates energy efficiency and innovation in energy-intensive industries along the whole supply chain, notably in the Dutch refining, petrochemical and agriculture sectors, a practice that contributes to industrial competitiveness.
Despite successful decoupling of greenhouse-gas emissions from economic growth between 1990 and 2012, however, the Netherlands remains one of the most fossil-fuel- and CO2-intensive economies among IEA countries. In September 2013, the Netherlands reached an agreement with key stakeholders on priority actions to support sustainable economic growth through 2020. In addition to implementing the agreement, the government must set the scene for a stable policy framework up to 2030, which is also crucial for renewable energies.
The Netherlands has accelerated permit procedures for new energy infrastructure and is driving technology cost reduction with reformed renewable support. The country can benefit from further interconnections with neighbouring countries, as renewables become an integral part of wholesale and balancing electricity markets in the EU.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges currently facing the Netherlands, and provides recommendations for each sector. It gives advice on implementing the Energy Agreement and how to leverage international opportunities from clean energy technologies. It is only available in PDF format.
Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, visited The Hague on 23 and 24 April 2014 to present the 2014 Economic Survey of the Netherlands as well as the OECD Review of Innovation Policy and the Territorial Review of the country. During his stay, Mr. Gurría held bilateral meetings with HRH Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, various members of the Dutch government, and business and trade union representatives.