Global Competitiveness Report is an annual report published by the World Economic Forum that assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 major and emerging world economies.
The report was first published in 1979. Today it is the most comprehensive method of assessing national competitiveness worldwide.
Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, says that the Global Competitiveness Report provides a window for long-term trends, and allows countries to see the key areas where they must act if they want to better the productivity that will “determine their economic future.”
The report measures a set of institutions, policies, and factors that set the current and medium-term levels of economic prosperity in each country. The World Economic Forum brings these measures together and analyses each country’s ability to provide levels of prosperity to its citizens. Levels of prosperity also depend on how effectively a country uses its available resources.
This year’s report shows that Switzerland tops world rankings fourth year in a row. Singapore, in second place, also maintains it’s ranking from previous years. Finland, on the other hand, overtakes Sweden and ranks in third position. Other Northern and Western European countries dominate the remainder of the top ten. These countries include the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and United Kingdom (8th).
Emerging markets each perform very differently. People’s Republic of China continues to lead the group (28th), whereas of the others only Brazil moves up this year (48th) South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th) all experience declines in rankings.
Just as long as Switzerland has kept its competitiveness ranking, the United States’ ranking has been declining. Fourth year in a row, the US falls down another two ranks to 7th place. On a more positive note, the country still remains a global innovation powerhouse.
The economies of Southern Europe, on the other hand, don’t reveal many positives in this year’s report. Spain, Italy, Portugal, and particularly Greece continue to suffer from competitive weakness in terms of poor access to financing, rigid labour markets, and, unlike the US, an innovation deficit.
Many Asian economies such as Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and Republic of Korea, are still performing strongly.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman at the World Economic Forum, urges governments to adopt long-term measures for more sustainable growth, and says that, “Persisting divides in competitiveness across regions and within regions, particularly in Europe, are at the origin of the turbulence we are experiencing today, and this is jeopardizing our future prosperity.”
Read the full Global Competitiveness Report here.