Switzerland has retained its position at the top of the overall rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 of the World Economic Forum.
The United States fell two places to fourth, overtaken by Sweden and Singapore, after already ceding the top place to Switzerland last year.
The report, published on Thursday, said Switzerland was characterised by “an excellent capacity for innovation and a very sophisticated business culture”, where it ranked second and fourth respectively.
In addition, public institutions were considered among the most effective and transparent in the world, receiving an even better comparative assessment this year than in past years.
Switzerland’s macroeconomic environment, after weakening slightly in 2009, bounced back and was among the most stable in the world (it ranked fifth) at a time when many countries are struggling in this area.
There was still room for improvement in some areas, however. While Switzerland demonstrated many competitive strengths, the report said the university enrolment rate of 49.4 per cent continues to lag behind many other high-innovation countries, placing it 48th on this indicator.
With an eye to the future, the authors said efforts should be made to boost higher education attainment to ensure sufficient national talent to continue contributing to productivity improvements.
The ranking is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.
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