For the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland tops the GCI, achieving an even higher score than in previous years. Although its performance remains largely unchanged from last year, a small score improvement means Switzerland achieves the highest GCI score since the introduction of the current methodology in 2007.
The country features in the top 10 of 11 GCI pillars and tops even four of them: labor market efficiency, business sophistication, innovation, and technological readiness (for the first time). Switzerland possesses one of the world’s most fertile innovation ecosystems, combining a very conducive policy environment and infrastructure, academic excellence, an unmatched capacity to attract the best talent, and large multinationals that are often leaders in their sector as well as a dense network of small- and medium-sized enterprises across sectors that has a reputation for quality and a strive for innovation. Furthermore, intense collaboration between the academic and business worlds yields innovative products with commercial applications. Among the country’s relative weaknesses are the persistent and deepening deflation, the relative lack of market competition, hindrances to business creation, relatively high barriers to entry, and the low level of women’s participation in the labor force in comparison with other advanced economies.
Singapore takes second place behind Switzerland for the sixth year in a row. The US ranks 3rd, a position it has occupied since the 2014-2015 report. Innovation, market size and financial market development are among the areas of strength. The rest of the top 10 is dominated by European economies, with Japan and Hong Kong also featuring in 8th and 9th respectively.
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2005. Defining competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories – the pillars of competitiveness – that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness. The 12 pillars are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.