GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 is out, and Switzerland again leads the pack of 144 countries, with Singapore overtaking Sweden for second place.
Overall, “the results show that while competitiveness in advanced economies has stagnated over the past seven years, in many emerging markets it has improved, placing their growth on a more stable footing and mirroring the shift in economic activity from advanced to emerging economies,” Geneva-based WEF says in a press release.
Swiss strengths, weaknesses
Switzerland gets highest marks worldwide for education and innovation and very high for health, legal protection and a number of other areas. It is far weaker for investor protection, women in the labour force and imports/exports as percentages of GDP.
Details, Switzerland, data platform
The United States has been slipping for the past three years. “In addition to the macroeconomic vulnerabilities that continue to build, some aspects of the United States’ institutional environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, particularly related to low public trust in politicians and concerns about government inefficiency. On a more positive note, banks and financial institutions are rebounding for the first time since the financial crisis and are assessed as somewhat sounder and more efficient.”
China has consolidated its position among the top 30, but the picture is mixed for the four other BRICS economies: “South Africa (50th) and Brazil (53rd) move upwards while India (56th) and Russia (66th) experience small declines.”
Hong Kong remains the other strong Asian country, in terms of competitiveness, in 11th place.
The top 10
Germany, which remains the strongest of the major European Union economies
The Netherlands, which has moved up one
France slipped three places to 18th and Greece fell to number 90.