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Competitiveness: Switzerland holds a leading position

30/01/2009
While the United States tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009, released by the World Economic Forum, Switzerland is in second position followed by Denmark, Sweden and Singapore.
European economies continue to prevail in the top 10. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has dropped by three places and out of the top 10, mainly attributable to a weakening of its financial markets.
“Rising food and energy prices, a major international financial crisis and the related slowdown in the world’s leading economies, are confronting policy-makers with new economic management challenges. Today’s volatility underscores the importance of a competitiveness-supporting economic environment that can help national economies to weather these types of shocks in order to ensure solid economic performance going into the future,” said Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, USA, and co-author of the report.
The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report. This year, over 12,000 business leaders were polled in a record 134 global economies. The survey is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business climate. The report also includes comprehensive listings of the main strengths and weaknesses of countries, making it possible to identify key priorities for policy reform.
“In an uncertain global financial environment it is more important than ever for countries to put into place the fundamentals underpinning economic growth and development. The World Economic Forum has for many years played a facilitating role in this process by providing detailed assessments of the productive potential of nations worldwide. The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 offers policy-makers and business leaders an important tool in the formulation of improved economic policies and institutional reforms,” noted Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The Global Competitiveness Report’s main competitiveness ranking is the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), developed for the World Economic Forum by Sala-i-Martin and originally introduced in 2004. The GCI is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, providing a comprehensive picture of the competitiveness landscape in countries around the world at all stages of development. The pillars include: Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Stability, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and Training, Goods Market Efficiency, Labour Market Efficiency, Financial Market Sophistication, Technological Readiness, Market Size, Business Sophistication and Innovation.
The report contains a detailed country/economy profile for each of the 134 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the rankings as well as the most prominent competitive advantages and disadvantages of each country/economy based on the analysis used in computing the rankings. Also included is an extensive section of data tables with global rankings covering over 110 indicators.
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