Switzerland was ranked third out of 30 advanced economies in the World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Development Index (IDI) – which measures if countries offer their citizens a level playing field in terms of life opportunities.
This index is made up indicators such as wealth, income distribution, the education and tax systems and healthy life expectancy. It is a key part of the WEFexternal link’s Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017external link, which was published on Monday.
Switzerland was also the seventh most improved country in terms of inclusive development during the period that was measured for the index: 2008-2013, the WEF said.
“….its strengths are basic and digital infrastructure (rank 1/30) and health services and infrastructure (2/30). It is also very strong on the quality of its education and skills and Home and Financial Asset Ownership (both 4/30),” WEF commented.
Areas with “most scope for improvement”, said WEF, are improving equity in education (17/30) and “Intermediation of Business Investment; our way of saying productive investment that has direct benefits on employment such as R&D and infrastructure (18th)”.
Scandinavian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand, dominated the top ten IDI ranked countries.
The Inclusive Growth and Development report argues that “sustained, broad-based progress in living standards, a concept that encompasses income as well as economic opportunity, security and quality of life, should be recognized by policymakers as the bottom-line objective of national economic performance rather than Gross Domestic Policy [economic] growth”.
It proposes a new policy framework and set of measurement tools to guide the practice and assess the performance of countries accordingly.
A shift is needed to “respond more effectively to the insecurity and inequality accompanying technological change and globalisation”, argued WEF.
The topic of this year’s meeting, which starts on January 17 in the Swiss resort of Davos, is “responsive and responsible leadershipexternal link” which WEF says reflects the clear need, given the political changes of 2016, for those in power to listen to people’s concerns and expectations and provide a vision for the future. Social inclusion is a key part of this, WEF says.