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World Competitiveness Rankings: Eurozone Lags Behind United States

The results of the 25th annual World Competitiveness Rankings have been released from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. The United States is back on top spot, with Germany (9th) the only Eurozone country in the top 10.

Ireland (17th) is currently beating the United Kingdom (18th), in the IMD’s study of economy, government efficiency , infrastructure and their combined effects on competitiveness.

The Results

1 USA
2 Switzerland
3 Hong Kong
4 Sweden
5 Singapore
6 Norway
7 Canada
8 UAE
9 Germany
10 Qatar
11 Taiwan
12 Denmark
13 Luxembourg
14 Netherlands
15 Malaysia
16 Australia
17 Ireland
18 United Kingdom
19 Israel
20 Finland

IMD International, Switzerland, World Competitiveness Center, www.imd.org/wcc

The report placed 60 countries under the microscope and used 300 competitiveness criteria and data from 55 Partner Institutes. The criteria used are broadly categorised as:

  • Economic Performance
  • Government Efficiency
  • Business Efficiency
  • Infrastructure

The US, Canada & Singapore were praised in the WCY for their advanced infrastructures, including education & technology, which represent long-term advantages over other countries. On the other hand, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany gained positions in the rankings for their exports, manufacturing, diversification, competitive SMEs and budget discipline.

Professor Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, explained the findings:

“While the euro zone remains stalled, the robust comeback of the US to the top of the competitiveness rankings, and better news from Japan, have revived the austerity debate. Structural reforms are unavoidable, but growth remains a prerequisite for competitiveness. In addition, the harshness of austerity measures too often antagonizes the population. In the end, countries need to preserve social cohesion to deliver prosperity.”

“In the end, the golden rules of competitiveness are simple: manufacture, diversify, export, invest in infrastructure, educate, support SMEs, enforce fiscal discipline, and above all maintain social cohesion.”

Although the results were a blow to those countries implementing austerity measures, other countries enjoyed the recognition of their efforts.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates greeted his country’s ranking warmly, saying:

“IMD’s Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2013, issued today, ranked UAE the world’s 1st in government efficiency & 4th in economic performance.

“The UAE became 8th most competitive nation in the world, making the biggest strides in one year on the indices compared to other countries.

“UAE is the world’s 1st in Social Cohesion and in Attitudes and Values, 5th in employment, and 6th in Management Practices.

“I congratulate our President & the numerous teams who made this possible. To the world we say: UAE people settle for no less than 1st place.

“The next 2 yrs will witness grand projects that would impress everyone & take the UAE to new levels of economic & development performance.

“We are optimistic, confident in our people, & tirelessly hard working. Our aim will always be achieving happiness for UAE people.”

The World Competitiveness Yearbook is produced annually by the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s findings are used by businesses & governments to identify successful practices and potential areas for investment.

About Linda Scott

Linda Scott
Linda Scott is Editor in Chief, and a founder of, The Global Herald.

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