Switzerland has dropped from second to fifth place in an annual ranking of the world’s most competitive economies, whilst the United States have moved up three places to the top.
Switzerland’s fall is due mainly to “a slowdown in exports, job growth and international investment”, says the Lausanne-based IMD business schoolexternal link, which compiles the 63-country ranking. There is also more perceived risk of research and development centres being delocalised, it adds.
Although Switzerland isn’t at the top in any of the four main categories – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency – it offers the best institutional framework for the economy, a strong financial system and high standards of healthcare.
When it comes to exports, however, Switzerland comes only mid-table – and 53rd for high prices.
The return of the US to the top ranking is due to its economic performance and infrastructure, says the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
The ranking has been carried out every year since 1989. In 2018, 63 countries were rated on a range of indicators, two-thirds related to employment and trade statistics and one-third to perceptions gathered in opinion surveys.
The top five ranked countries in 2018 are the US (1), Hong Kong (2), Singapore (3), Netherlands (4) and Switzerland (5).
The bottom five ranked countries are Venezuela (63), Mongolia (62), Croatia (61), Brazil (60) and Ukraine (59).