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Most competitive countries in the world; India ranks 60

September 05, 2013 10:47 IST

Most competitive countries in the world; India ranks 60

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India has dropped a place in the latest global ranking of countries' competitiveness, launched by the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

India’s competitiveness, on a continuous decline since 2009, slipped to 60th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013-14 (total 148 economies).

Among the Asian economies, Indonesia jumped to 38th, making it the most improved of the G20 economies since 2006. South Korea fell six places to 26th.

Let’s look at the 15 most competitive nations in the world.

India

Rank: 60

Score: 4.28

India continues to be penalised for its very disappointing performance in the basic drivers underpinning competitiveness, the very ones that matter the most for India given its stage of development.

The country’s supply of transport, ICTs, and energy infrastructure remains largely insufficient and ill-adapted to the needs of the economy (85th), despite the steady improvement that has been made since 2006.

The Indian business community repeatedly cites infrastructure as the single biggest hindrance to doing business, ahead of corruption and cumbersome bureaucracy.

Click NEXT to see the most competitive nations…


Image: Red Bull Formula One reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia drives in front of the India Gate during his team's road show in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Switzerland

Rank: 1

Score: 5.67

Switzerland retains its 1st place position again this year as a result of its continuing strong performance across the board.

The country’s most notable strengths are related to innovation and labour market efficiency as well as the sophistication of its business sector.

Switzerland’s top-notch scientific research institutions, along with other factors, make the country a top innovator.

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Image: A general view shows the city of Zurich with the Fraumuenster church (R) and the lake Zurich (L).
Photographs: Michael Buholzer/Reuters

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Singapore

Rank: 2

Score: 5.61

The city-state boasts one of the world’s best institutional frameworks. Singapore also possesses world-class infrastructure, with excellent roads, ports, and air transport facilities.

Singapore’s private sector is also becoming increasingly sophisticated and more innovative, although room for improvement exists in both areas, which are the keys to Singapore’s future prosperity.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Finland

Rank: 3

Score: 5.54

The country boasts well functioning and highly transparent public institutions. Finland also has the best system for health and primary education, the result of a strong focus on education over recent decades.

Finland’s focus on education has provided the workforce with the skills needed to adapt rapidly to a changing environment and has laid the groundwork for high levels of innovation, allowing Finland to become a highly innovative economy.

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Image: The Lutheran Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, seen from the South Harbour.
Photographs: Mikko Paananen/Wikimedia Commons

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Germany

Rank: 4

Score: 5.51

Germany moves up by two notches to fourth place this year.

The country is ranked an excellent 3rd for the quality of its infrastructure, boasting in particular first-rate facilities across all modes of transport. The goods market is quite efficient and is characterized by intense local competition.

Germany’s business sector is very sophisticated, especially when it comes to production processes and distribution channels.

German companies are among the most innovative in the world, spending heavily on R&D (4th) and displaying a high capacity for innovation.

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Image: The skyline of Frankfurt with its characteristic bank towers is pictured early morning.
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Wikimedia Commons

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United States

Rank: 5

Score: 5.48

After having declined for four consecutive years in the ranking, the United States reverses its downward trend, rising by two positions to take fifth place this year and overtaking the Netherlands and Sweden.

While the economy is getting back on track, the deleveraging process in the banking sector continues to show positive effects on the stability and efficiency of the country’s financial markets.

US companies are highly sophisticated and innovative, supported by an excellent university system that collaborates admirably with the business sector in R&D.

Combined with flexible labour markets and the scale opportunities afforded by the sheer size of its domestic economy - the largest in the world by far - these qualities continue to make the United States very competitive.

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Image: Skyline of New York city.
Photographs: Reuters

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Sweden

Rank: 6

Score: 5.48

Sweden falls two places to sixth position. Like Switzerland, the country has been placing significant emphasis on creating the conditions for innovation-led growth.

Although the assessment has deteriorated slightly over the past year - mainly due to a somewhat weaker macroeconomic environment - the quality of Sweden’s public institutions remains first rate, with a very high degree of efficiency, trust, and transparency.

Private institutions also receive excellent marks, with firms that demonstrate highly ethical behaviour.

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Image: A 36-metre tall Christmas tree is lit up in central Stockholm.
Photographs: Scanpix/Reuters

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Hong Kong SAR

Rank: 7

Score: 5.47

Hong Kong SAR further consolidates its position among the 10 most competitive economies, advancing a further two places to seventh, thanks to a consistently strong performance.

Hong Kong probably has the best infrastructure, with outstanding quality of facilities across all modes of transportation. It also has the best financial infrastructure owing to the high level of efficiency, trustworthiness, and stability of the system.

In order to enhance its competitiveness, Hong Kong must improve on higher education and innovation.

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Image: Hong Kong skyline.
Photographs: Reuters

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Netherlands

Rank: 8

Score: 5.42

After having moved up in the rankings in the last edition, the Netherlands loses three places and slips to 8th place this year.

The drop mainly reflects weakening financial markets and, in particular, rising concerns regarding the stability of banks.

Overall, the economy is highly productive due to some pronounced strengths. Dutch businesses are highly sophisticated and innovative, and the country is rapidly and aggressively harnessing new technologies for productivity improvements.

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Image: Nightview of the Magere Brug, the skinny bridge,the most famous bridge in Amsterdam.
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters

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Japan

Rank: 9

Score: 5.40

The country continues to enjoy a major competitive edge in business sophistication and in innovation.

The country has the fourth-highest number of patent applications per capita in the world.

However, the country’s overall competitive performance continues to be dragged down by severe macroeconomic weaknesses.

For the past four years, the budget deficit has been hovering around 10 percent of GDP, one of the highest ratios in the world, while the public debt reached record levels, representing almost 240 per cent of Japan’s GDP.

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Image: Tokyo skyline.
Photographs: Reuters

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United Kingdom

Rank: 10

Score: 5.37

The United Kingdom fell by two places this year. The country deteriorates slightly in several areas, most notably its macroeconomic environment and its financial markets.

Overall, the United Kingdom benefits from clear strengths such as the efficiency of its labor market, in sharp contrast to the rigidity of those of many other European countries.

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Image: The Canary Wharf financial district is seen from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the London.
Photographs: Ki Price/Reuters

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Norway

Rank: 11

Score: 5.33

Norway rises by four places in the rankings to a remarkable 11th this year, with progress in a number of areas. Specifically, the country features a notable improvement in the uptake of ICTs, particularly increasing Internet bandwidth and greater penetration of mobile broadband.

Similar to the other Nordic countries, Norway is further characterised by well-functioning and transparent public institutions; private institutions also get admirable marks for ethics and accountability.

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Image: The sunset is reflected off the buildings of The Barcode Project in Oslo.
Photographs: Norsk Telegrambyra AS/Reuters
Tags: Norway , India

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Taiwan (China)

Rank: 12

Score: 5.29

Taiwan’s performance has been very stable and consistently strong over the past five years.

Notable strengths include the capacity of Taiwanese businesses to innovate, its highly efficient goods markets, and its world-class primary education and higher education.

Taiwan, however. Needs to strengthen its institutional framework and relax the rigid labour policy.

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Image: Taipei skyline.
Photographs: Reuters

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Qatar

Rank: 13

Score: 5.24

The country’s strong performance in terms of competitiveness rests on solid foundations made up of a high-quality institutional framework, a stable macroeconomic environment, and an efficient goods market.

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Image: An aerial view of Doha's diplomatic area.
Photographs: Fadi Al-Assaad/Reuters
Tags: India

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Canada

Rank: 14

Score: 5.20

Canada remains stable at 14th place. The country continues to benefit from highly efficient markets, well-functioning and transparent institutions, and excellent infrastructure.

Canada is also successfully nurturing its human resources compared with other advanced economies, providing the workforce with the skills needed to succeed in a competitive economy.

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Image: Toronto skyline.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Canada , India

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Denmark

Rank: 15

Score: 5.18

Denmark loses three positions this year at 15th, placing just behind Canada, with a weakening in its macroeconomic environment.

A continued strong focus on education would help to reverse the downward trend in the country’s ranking and to maintain the skill levels needed to provide the basis for sustained innovation-led growth.


Image: Boats are seen anchored at the 17th century Nyhavn district, home to many shops and restaurants in Copenhagen.
Photographs: GuoJunjun/Wikimedia Commons

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