Of the 57 economies ranked by IMD, the US still ranks No. 1 in 2009. Hong Kong has switched places with Singapore to gain the 2nd place and is swiftly “closing the gap”.

In a free-fall economy, competitiveness is also about how countries can resist adversity and show resilience to weather the storm.  What is their ability to withstand “one-off events” such as today’s turmoil?  For example, Japan comes out better than expected in 17th position.  However, one must take into account that these rankings are based on a majority of statistics from 2008, especially the growth period of early 2008, and countries entered the economic crisis at different times.  The most spectacular movements are seen for Indonesia, rising from 51st place to 42nd and Taiwan falling from 13th place to 22nd.

Lastly, IMD’s definition of competitiveness is: “How nations and businesses are managing the totality of their competencies to achieve greater prosperity”. Competitiveness is not just about growth or economic performance but should take into consideration the “soft factors” of competitiveness, such as the environment, quality of life, technology, knowledge, etc. This helps explain why some countries, the US, Japan, the UK, Nordic economies and small, open economies like Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland are able to maintain their rankings in the top league despite short-term disruptions.

The IMD World Competitiveness Ranking is a photograph of competitiveness at one point in time. But it is also important to look at the evolution of countries’ performances over the longer period that IMD has been studying competitiveness – now more than 20 years!  To view the entire press release follow the link:  https://2018.biia.com/press.php

Source:  IMD

BIIA Newsletter May 2009 Issue