The Top 10 Most Competitive Countries: IMD Competitiveness Yearbook 2016

IMD competitiveness Yearbook 2016
The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
/ May 31, 2016

World Competitiveness Center, a research group within International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland, has released World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016. The competitiveness yearbook, which IMD has been publishing yearly since 1989, reflects the competitiveness of countries.

The study is based on analysis of over 340 criteria derived from four factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. The study also includes a survey of around 5,400 business executives who were asked to assess the situation in their countries.

“The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

A few observations from the 2016 scorecard: 

  • The USA is no longer the most competitive economy. It is now ranked third, with the top and the second spot being taken by Hong Kong and Switzerland respectively.
  • Hong Kong came at the top spot as it is diversified and therefore safer from economic shocks within the region. HK is business-friendly, promoting competition, and at the same time investing in public education.
  • Ireland made it to the top-10 by jumping from 16th last year to 7th this year.
  • Jumping from 15th to 8th, Netherlands is also now a top-10 competitive economy.
  • Latvia, Slovenia, and the Slovak Republic made impressive gains this year. The Slovak Republic, which was ranked 46th in 2015 is now ranked 40. Slovenia went up from 49th to 43rd place, and Latvia went up from 43rd to 37th place.
  • With the ongoing post-financial crisis recovery of the public sector, the Western European countries have continued to improve. Ireland and Netherlands both made signifiant gains.
  • Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea Republic, and Indonesia have all suffered significant falls from their positions from the last year.
  • Argentina, ranked at 55th place (from 59th in 2015,) is the only country in the region to improve from its 2015 position.

How are the BRICS nations doing?

  • Brazil went down from 56th to 57th.
  • Russia went up from 45th to 44th.
  • India went up from 44th to 41st.
  • China mainland went down from 22nd to 25th.
  • South Africa went up from 53rd to 52nd position.

Here are the top 10 most competitive economies

  1. China Hong Kong (+1)
  2. Switzerland (+2)
  3. USA (-2)
  4. Singapore (-1)
  5. Sweden (+4)
  6. Denmark (+2)
  7. Ireland (+9)
  8. Netherlands (+7)
  9. Norway (-2)
  10. Canada (-5)

The complete list: 

IMD competitiveness Yearbook 2016