• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss remain on top of competitiveness table

AFP/The Local · 3 Sep 2014, 09:46

Published: 03 Sep 2014 09:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Swiss registered "excellent results" in most areas underpinning competitiveness, said the WEF, which issues an annual ranking.

"This includes innovation, business sophistication, higher education and labour market efficiency."

But in an allusion to planned immigration restrictions, the organization noted that Swiss "businesses and research institutions may increasingly face difficulties in finding the talent they need to preserve their outstanding capacity for innovation, key to Switzerland's prosperity".

In its report the WEF highlighted progress made by the US. 

"The United States improves its competitiveness position for the second consecutive year, climbing two places to third on the back of gains to its institutional framework and innovation scores," it said.

The US held the top rank seven years ago but slid to seventh amid the financial crisis.
The WEF, which organizes the annual Davos meeting of the global political and business elite, said that Singapore came in second, holding its ranking from the previous year.

Finland and Germany, which had been ranked third and fourth respectively, both dropped down one rung on the ladder.
The highest climber in the top ten was Japan, which moved to sixth place from its previous ninth.
Hong Kong and the Netherlands held their berths of seventh and eighth, while Britain gained one place, rising to ninth.
Sweden fell from sixth to tenth.
"The leading economies in the index all possess a track record in developing, accessing and utilizing available talent, as well as in making investments that boost innovation," said the WEF.

"These smart and targeted investments have been possible thanks to a coordinated approach based on strong collaboration between the public and private sectors," it added.
Below the top-rankers, the WEF underlined that a string of economic crisis casualties had gained ground, lauding their "significant strides to improve". 

Portugal rose from 51st to 36th, and Greece, from 91st to 81st.

Spain remained in 35th place for the second year running.
The WEF also pointed to countries facing "major competitiveness challenges".
It cited France and Italy, unchanged at 23rd and 49th respectively, saying they "appear not to have fully engaged in this process".
"While the divide between a highly competitive North and a lagging South and East persists, a new outlook on the European competitiveness divide between countries implementing reforms and those that are not can now also be observed," the WEF said.
Examining eight of the world's largest emerging markets, the WEF said they continued to face difficulties in improving competitiveness.
Saudi Arabia fell to 24th from its previous ranking of 20th, while Turkey dropped one notch from 44th, and South Africa dipped to 56th from 53rd.
Mexico slid six places from 55th to 61st, while India dropped 11, sliding from 60th to 71st, and Nigeria was down to 127th from 120th.
The stand-out performer among emerging markets was China, which gained one place, moving to 28th.
The WEF began measuring economic competitiveness in 2004.
Its ranking is based on a raft of criteria: institutions, infrastructure and the macroeconomic environment, plus health and education, goods and labour market efficiency, financial market development, technology, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.

Story continues below…

To check the full Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, click here.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available