Nordic countries and East Asian tigers top the rankings in the World Economic Forum's 2005 competitiveness rankings
28 September 2005 - Geneva, Switzerland
Finland remains the most competitive economy in the world and tops the rankings for the third consecutive year in The Global Competitiveness Report 2005-2006, released today by the World Economic Forum. The United States is in second position, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and Singapore, respectively.
The rankings are drawn from a combination of hard data, publicly available for each of the economies studied, and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive assessment conducted by the World Economic Forum, together with its network of partner institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report. This year nearly 11,000 business leaders were polled in a record 117 economies worldwide. The survey questionnaire is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business environment that are key determinants of sustained economic growth. Particular attention is placed on elements of the macroeconomic environment, the quality of public institutions which underpin the development process, and the level of technological readiness and innovation.
“The Nordic countries share a number of characteristics that make them extremely competitive, such as very healthy macroeconomic environments and public institutions that are highly transparent and efficient, with general agreement within society on the spending priorities to be met in the government budget. While the business communities in the Nordic countries point to high tax rates as a potential problem area, there is no evidence that these are adversely affecting the ability of these countries to compete effectively in world markets, or to provide to their respective populations some of the highest standards of living in the world. Indeed, the high levels of government tax revenue have delivered world-class educational establishments, an extensive safety net, and a highly motivated and skilled labour force,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist and Director of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Programme.
The World Economic Forum has been producing The Global Competitiveness Report for 26 years, and its unique mix of hard and soft data has made it possible to accurately capture the broad range of factors seen to be essential to a better understanding of the determinants of growth. Each year it has delivered a comprehensive overview of the main strengths and weaknesses in a large number of countries, making it possible to identify key areas for reform and policy formulation.