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Switzerland Overtakes US In Global Competitiveness Rankings

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

17 September 2009


Switzerland tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, released today by the World Economic Forum. The United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability.

Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. European economies continue to prevail in the top ten with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets.

The People's Republic of China continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one place this year, solidifying its position among the top 30. Among the three other large BRIC economies, Brazil and India also improve, while Russia falls by 12 places.

Several Asian economies perform strongly, with Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Republic of Korea and Taiwan also in the top 20. In Latin America, Chile is the highest ranked country, followed by Costa Rica and Brazil.

A number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are in the upper half of the rankings, led by Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Tunisia, with particular improvements noted in the Gulf States, which continue their upward trend of recent years. In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Mauritius and Botswana feature in the top half of the rankings, with a number of other countries from the region measurably improving their competitiveness.

"The strong interdependence among the world’s economies makes this a truly global economic crisis in every sense. Policy-makers are presently struggling with ways of managing these new economic challenges, while preparing their economies to perform well in a future economic landscape characterized by growing uncertainty. In a difficult global economic environment, it is more important than ever for countries to put into place strong fundamentals underpinning economic growth and development,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, USA, and co-author of the Report added: “Amid the present crisis, it is critical that policy-makers do not lose sight of long-term competitiveness fundamentals amid short-term urgencies. Competitive economies are those that have in place factors driving the productivity enhancements on which their present and future prosperity is built. A competitiveness-supporting economic environment can help national economies to weather business cycle downturns and ensure that the mechanisms enabling solid economic performance going into the future are in place.”


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