• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

IMD ranks US and Swiss tops for competitiveness

AFP/The Local · 30 May 2013, 10:07

Published: 30 May 2013 10:07 GMT+02:00

In its annual ranking for 2013, released on Thursday by the Lausanne-based Institute for Management Development, the United States jumped ahead from the number two slot in which it found itself in 2012.

The American improvement was thanks to a rebound of its financial sector, abundant technological innovation and successful companies, IMD said.

Last year's frontrunner, Hong Kong, meanwhile fell to third place in the 2013 ranking, while Switzerland moved up to second from third.

Sweden moved up to fourth place from fifth last year, trading places with Singapore which dropped to fifth.

"We base our study on 333 criteria, two-thirds of them statistics and the remaining third opinion polls," Stéphane Garelli, head of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, told AFP.
   
"In the end, the golden rules of competitiveness are simple: manufacture, 
diversify, export, invest in infrastructure, educate, support SMEs, enforce fiscal discipline, and above all maintain social cohesion," he said.
   
Running from the United States to last-placed Venezuela, the 
60-economy ranking also helps flag up broader economic trends.
   
"While the eurozone remains stalled, the robust comeback of the US to the 
top of the competitiveness rankings, and better news from Japan, have revived the austerity debate," said Garelli.
   
"Structural reforms are unavoidable, but growth remains a prerequisite for 
competitiveness," he said.

"In addition, the harshness of austerity measures too often antagonizes the population. In the end, countries need to preserve social cohesion to deliver prosperity."

Story continues below…

While the United States is well-positioned in the short-term, it is also expected to outperform in the longer term due to anticipated higher oil and gas production, which will keep energy prices low compared to those in Europe, Garelli indicated in a statement.
   
The top 30 includes 10 members of the austerity-gripped European Union, 
with Germany and Britain at an unchanged ninth and 18th respectively.
   
Ireland rose from 20th to 17th, and France from 29th to 28th.

   
Japan also climbed from 27th place to 24th.

   
The IMD underlined the impact of Japan's "Abenomics" — Prime Minister 
Shinzo Abe's drive to ramp up the money supply and offer fiscal stimulus — saying it seemed to be having an impact on the dynamism of the world's third-largest economy.
   
Fortunes were mixed for the BRICS group of emerging economies, made up of 
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
   
China climbed to 21st from 23rd, and Russia to 42nd from 48th.

   
But India slipped from 35th to 40th, Brazil from 46th to 51st, and South 
Africa from 50th to 53rd.
   
"Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are immensely different in 
their competitiveness strategies and performance, but the BRICS remain lands of opportunities," said Garelli.

Click here for the IMD press release.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
File photo: Flickr

Staff at a school in the canton of Basel Country who provide a positive role model by not smoking should receive an extra week's holiday, one member of staff has suggested.

Refugee crisis
'Switzerland must shut itself off with barbed wire'
A man walks with his son in the Moria detention centre on the Greek Island of Lesbos in April. Photo: AFP

Swiss politician Andreas Glarner isn't afraid of controversy.

Banking
UBS profits tumble amid market uncertainty
Photo: AFP

Net profit at UBS was down 64 percent on a year earlier.

Tennis: Injured Federer pulls out of Madrid Open
Federer said he injured his back in practice on Saturday. Photo: AFP

Back problems have caused Roger Federer to pull out of the tournament in the Spanish capital.

Swiss may extradite Kosovan war crimes suspects: report
Swiss president and justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga is studying the case. Photo: AFP

Swiss authorities have arrested two Kosovans wanted by Serbia for suspected war crimes, but the question of where to extradite them to is stirring up diplomatic tensions, Swiss media report.

MPs say yes to cash for Switzerland’s 'slave kids'
Victims of historic abuse during the handover of a petition as part of "Repair", a public initiative calling for justice for victims of abuse in Bern in 2014. Photo: AFP

For decades, Swiss children were taken from their homes and forced to work as cheap labour. Some were sexually abused or underwent forced sterilization.

Swiss alpinist finds body of US climbing legend Alex Lowe
Speed Speed climber Steck (pictured) and his colleague David Göttler found the remains of Alex Lowe. Photo: AFP

Swiss mountain climber Ueli Steck has found the body of Alex Lowe more than 16 years after the American was buried by an avalanche in the Himalayas.

Hot stuff: Swiss winter was second warmest on record
Tourists ski on a thin layer of snow towards the resort of Leysin on December 28th. Photo: AFP

Only the winter of 2006/07 was warmer.

Family matters
Swiss canton boosts paternity leave to 5 days
Switzerland lags behind other European countries on the paternity leave issue. File photo: AFP

The move will send a positive message to the rest of Switzerland, supporters said before the vote.

Tour de Romandie
Cycling: Quintana wins Tour de Romandie
The Tour de Romandie is seen as a warm up and testing ground for the Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Colombian climber Nairo Quintana of the Movistar team won the Tour de Romandie on Sunday after a breakaway win in the fifth and final stage over 177.4km from Ollon-sur-Villars to Geneva on Sunday for local talent Michael Albasini.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Society
Swiss parliament snubs plan for two weeks paternity leave
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
File photo: Giovanni Blank
Lifestyle
Fathers should share parental leave, says commission
Photo: eGuide Travel
Society
Dictator-tracker spices up Geneva planespotting
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Politics
Swiss army ready to act in worst case migrant scenario
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Photo: Robert Zingg/Zurich Zoo
Lifestyle
Druk the elephant hauled to her feet by Zurich fire brigade
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Sport
Swiss champion snowboarder Estelle Balet killed by avalanche
Photo: Andreas Omvik/Zurich Tourism
Culture
Swiss 'groundhog day' forecasts lousy summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose International Health Insurance
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Technology
'Love-making couch' among inventions at Geneva show
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Bank blacklists Swiss travel agent named Isis
Photo: Julien Gregario
National
Italian research student slain in Geneva street
Photo: Philippe Merle/AFP
Features
New Chaplin museum set in star's own 'Downton Abbey'
Photo: Gary Minnaert
Lifestyle
Name traditions still sway married Swiss women despite law change
Photo: Stephan Ridgway
Government eyes hefty fines for littering
Photo: Swiss Tourism
National
Revealed: the richest regions in Switzerland
Photo: Swiss National Bank
National
Switzerland's new 50 franc note: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
VIDEO: Swiss farmer's cows leap for joy of spring
Politics
Automatic expulsion of criminal foreigners rejected at the ballot box
National
UK's Duchess of York seeks to become resident of Verbier
National
City of Geneva to translate information into English
National
Female guard at prison near Zurich 'helped Syrian flee jail'
National
Swiss residential real estate 'bubble risk' continues to rise
4,499
jobs available