The coronavirus crisis has left an indelible mark on the competitive standing of global economies. This is also reflected in the ranking of the world’s most competitive countries, now published by the IMD Business School in Lausanne for the 33rd time.
Switzerland dethrones Singapore
For the first time, Switzerland has claimed top spot among the 64 examined economies in this ranking. In so doing, it has overtaken Singapore, which has slipped four places down to fifth spot. “Although Switzerland was slow to fight the pandemic, it has not jeopardized its future economic growth because it has kept a disciplined financial strategy by not spending too much”, explains Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, in a press release covering the report.
Swiss infrastructure second to none
According to its country profile, Switzerland scored well also due to its infrastructure, which is currently regarded as the best in the world. In terms of government efficiency, Switzerland takes second place, while the country is ranked fifth for the category of business efficiency. Switzerland was also among the best countries in the world for economic performance, claiming seventh position for this metric.
The strong performance in the present ranking makes up for the decline recorded over recent years. Switzerland, which was ranked second overall last year, had fallen as far as fifth place in 2018. It has therefore managed to climb the rankings since then.
An eye on the future
Nevertheless, Switzerland will continue to face challenges in 2021. These include ensuring a rapid recovery following the crisis as well as keeping the markets open and defending against protectionism. Competition in the domestic market needs to be strengthened in order to increase productivity, while improvements must also be realized in connection with the sustainability of social works and the pension system in particular.
Behind Switzerland, Sweden takes second place (rising four places in the process), with Denmark and Norway in third and fourth respectively. Taiwan is also among the climbers, moving up three places to finish in eighth position, as is China which jumped four places to 16th position. Germany rose two places to finish in 15th.
The IMD produces the ranking on the basis of 334 separate criteria in collaboration with local partner institutes located in 58 countries.