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WEF survey Switzerland tops field in competitiveness

The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013

(World Economic Forum WEF)

Switzerland has again been named the most competitive country in the world in an annual survey released on Wednesday by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. Singapore ranked second, Finland third, Germany fourth and the US fifth.

Switzerland’s strengths lie in its innovation, its system of education, and its research institutions, as well as its superb infrastructure, transparent administration, and functioning finance and job markets, WEF said.

There is room for improvement in several areas, according to the study. Swiss youths should have greater access to universities and women should have greater access to the business world. The study also criticised the protectionism in the Swiss agricultural market.

“It is important that Switzerland shy away from overregulation and protectionism and focus on its competitive advantages,” said the study’s authors.

WEF praised the financial and banking sectors for quickly adapting to new realities.

The study urged countries with lower rankings – such as Spain (ranked 35), Italy (49), Portugal (51) and Greece (91) – to improve access to innovation in order to address the inefficiencies and flexibility of their markets.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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