Switzerland is again top of the class in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Index – for the ninth year in a row – narrowly ahead of the United States and Singapore.
It gained its highest ever score in the past ten years of the WEF rankingexternal link, thanks to its ability to innovate, its sophisticated businesses, and a highly effective labour market.
“Economic performance benefits from extremely strong fundamentals including public health, primary education, and a comparatively solid macroeconomic environment. Its economy has a high level of flexibility, with its labour markets being ranked as the best-functioning globally,” the authors wrote.
Like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany, Switzerland scored high for both labour market flexibility and protection of workers’ rights.
“Governments that pursue both these objectives can achieve efficient labour markets as well as low levels of inequality,” the report stated.
Despite dropping one place for higher education (down to fourth) and falling to second behind New Zealand for technological readiness, the alpine nation made strong progress in the health and primary education categories, climbing six places from eighth to second.
Other G20 major economies in the WEF top 10 included Germany (5), Britain (8) and Japan (9). China is the highest ranking among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) group of large emerging markets, moving up one rank to 27.
As well as individual competitive rankings, the WEF report highlighted the risk of further financial shocks on the horizon, and argued that nations were ill-prepared for the next wave of innovation and automation.
“Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity,” WEF stated.