Switzerland loses top spot as United States named most competitive economy

Galtero Lara
Octubre 19, 2018

The WEF changed some items reviewed, and the rankings are based on the new evaluation scheme.

WEF experts denied that the analysis had been remodelled to flatter US President Donald Trump, who topped the bill at the WEF's annual meeting at Davos in January, bringing his "America First" message to the world's elite.

The report highlights the Philippines as one of the countries -along with Nigeria, Yemen, South Africa, Pakistan - with notable problems related to violence, crime or terrorism, and where the police are considered unreliable.

The report said that Bangladesh's competitiveness has weakened in most of the 12 major indicators like business dynamism and product market development. Greece's overall competitiveness marks this year come to 62.1 out of 100 - marginally higher than last year's 61.8 points.

The United States' top ranking is built on what the WEF determines as its strong "business dynamism" pillar, particularly its vibrant entrepreneurial culture, strong labor market and financial system. Bangladesh ranked between 80 to100 in two other pillars on Macroeconomic Stability (88th) and Health (96th), said the report. The market capitalisation of the financial system as a percentage of the country's GDP is what drives down the financial system pillar score.

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"Economic recovery is well underway, with the global economy projected to grow nearly 4% in 2018 and 2019", the report stated, adding that "recovery remains vulnerable to a range of risks and potential shocks".

The Netherlands, the WEF says, performs particularly well on institutions, especially when it comes to checks and balances (including judicial independence, freedom of the press and government openness), protection of property rights, and ethics and transparency. Germany placed third with a score of 82.8.

Singapore is the most "future-ready" economy, according to the report, while Sweden has the most digitally skilled workforce. Hopefully, we will see more business-government-academe linkages to support the growth of priority sectors. All 20 countries in the top 20 have high-income economies, and the top 40 only includes three low-income economies: Malaysia (25th), China (28th) and Thailand (38th).

Pakistan has dropped to 107th position in the Global Competitiveness Index 2018. The managing director at the WEF, Saadia Zahidi, mentions that "open economies are more competitive".

The results of the GCI 4.0 reveal the sobering conclusion that most economies are far from the competitiveness "frontier"-the aggregate ideal across all factors of competitiveness. Countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology".

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