IMD business school releases 25th anniversary world competitiveness rankings

Lausanne, Switzerland - IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, today announced its 25th anniversary world competitiveness rankings, looking at 60 economies in 2013. The top 10 countries in competitiveness for 2013 are: US (1), Switzerland (2), Hong Kong (3), Sweden (4), Singapore (5), Norway (6), Canada (7), UAE (8), Germany (9), and Qatar (10).

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Highlights of the 2013 ranking

The US has regained the No. 1 spot in 2013, thanks to a rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies.

China (21) and Japan (24) are also increasing their competitiveness. In the case of Japan, Abenomics seems to be having an initial impact on the dynamism of the economy.

In Europe, the most competitive nations include Switzerland (2), Sweden (4) and Germany (9), whose success relies upon export-oriented manufacturing, diversified economies, strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fiscal discipline. The rest of Europe is heavily constrained by austerity programs that are delaying recovery and calling into question the timeliness of the measures proposed.

The BRICS economies have enjoyed mixed fortunes. China (21) and Russia (42) rose in the rankings, while India (40), Brazil (51) and South Africa (53) all fell. Emerging economies in general remain highly dependent on the global economic recovery, which seems to be delayed.

In Latin America, Mexico (32) has seen a small revival in its competitiveness that now needs to be confirmed over time and by the continuous implementation of structural reforms.

"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," said Professor Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center. "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."

"True, Europe's competitiveness is declining, but Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Norway are shining successes. Latin America is disappointing, but there are great global companies all over that region. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are immensely different in their competitiveness strategies and performance, but the BRICS remain lands of opportunities," Garelli said.

"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."

The IMD World Competitiveness Center is a part of IMD
IMD is a top-ranked business school. We are the experts in developing global leaders through high-impact executive education. Why IMD? We are 100% focused on real-world executive development. We offer Swiss excellence with a global perspective. We have a flexible, customized and effective approach (www.imd.org). Published since 1989, the World Competitiveness Yearbook is the leading annual report on the competitiveness of nations.


Matthew Mortellaro

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