US tops competitiveness ranking, Asia sees mixed results
The United States remained at the top of the annual world competitiveness ranking conducted by the leading business school IMD, with the report saying this achievement was a result of the strong business efficiency and financial sector in the U.S., its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure. Hong Kong (2) and Singapore (3) moved up in the rankings of 61 surveyed economies overtaking Switzerland, which dropped to fourth place. Canada (5), Norway (7), Denmark (8), Sweden (9) and Germany (10) remained in the top ten. Luxembourg moved to the top (6) from 11th place in 2014.
Results for Asia were mixed. Malaysia (12 to 14), Japan (21 to 27), Thailand (29 to 30) and Indonesia (37 to 42) moved down, while Taiwan (13 to 11), Republic of Korea (26 to 25) and the Philippines (42 to 41) slightly rose in the ranking. Most Asian economies in decline have seen a drop in their domestic economies and are i mpacted by weakening/aging infrastructure.
Eastern E u r o p e experienced a mixture of results as well. Poland (36 to 33), the Czech Republic (33 to 29) and Slovenia (55 to 49) moved up in the ranking. In the Baltic States, Estonia (30 to 31) and Latvia (35 to 43) ranked lower than last year, although, L ithuan ia gained (34 to 28). Elsewhere in the region, current events in Russia (38 to 45) and Ukraine (49 to 60) highlight the negative impact that armed conflict and the accompanying higher market volatility have on competitiveness in an increasingly interconnected international economy.
Among large emerging economies, Brazil (54 to 56) and South Africa (52 to 53) slightly dropped, China (23 to 22) and Mexico (41 to 39) experienced improvements while India remained at the same spot (44). This trend shows the difficulty in grouping emerging markets in one category, as the issues impacting their competitiveness differ. China’s slight increase stems from improvements in education and public expenditure, whereas Brazil suffers from a drop in domestic economy and less optimistic executive opinions.