Switzerland tops poll for second year

For the second year running Switzerland topped the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness index.

The United States fell two places to fourth position, overtaken by Sweden (2nd) and Singapore (3rd).

The WEF said that “macroeconomic imbalances” that have built up over time as well as a “weakening of the United States’ public and private institutions” and “lingering concerns about the state of its financial markets” were the reasons for the downgrade.

The Nordic countries continue to be well positioned in the ranking, with Sweden, Finland (7th) and Denmark (9th) among the top 10, and with Norway at 14th. Sweden overtakes the US and Singapore this year to be placed 2nd overall. The United Kingdom, after falling in the rankings over recent years, moves back up by one place to 12th position.

The People’s Republic of China (27th) continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by two more places this year. Among the three other BRIC economies, Brazil (58th), India (51st) and Russia (63rd) remain stable.

Several Asian economies perform strongly, with Japan (6th) and Hong Kong SAR (11th) also in the top 20. In Latin America, Chile (30th) is the highest ranked country, followed by Panama (53rd) Costa Rica (56th) and Brazil.

Qatar (17th) is the best Middle East performer but most Gulf States continued their upward trend of recent years.

In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa (54th) and Mauritius (55th) feature in the top half of the rankings.

Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 - Jennifer Blanke