Switzerland has been named as the most competitive nation by the Word Economic Forum for the eighth time and warnings have as well been issued that less open trade can prove to be threatening for the global economic growth. In the annual rankings issued for 138 nations, Switzerland was placed ahead of the US and Singapore. The organization based in Geneva has expressed its concern in the report pertaining to gradual decline in trade openness. It has blamed burdensome rules governing customs and foreign investment for hurting the world economy. This can make it difficult for leaders to drive inclusive as well as sustainable growth. The report suggests that strong underlying competitiveness is a crucial requirement for propelling monetary stimulus. Click here to learn more.
The Global Competitiveness Report discusses selected economies and the performance is described in detail in the economy profiles included in the report. Switzerland has managed to top the chart for the eighth consecutive year and has managed to attain higher scores than the previous years. The performance has remained relatively unchanged from the previous year. However, a small improvement in the score has made Switzerland achieve the highest GCI score. The country has been featured in the top 10 pillars listed by GCI. Switzerland tops the four pillars which include: business sophistication, labor market efficiency, technological readiness and innovation.
As per the report, Switzerland possesses one of the most fertile innovation ecosystems. It combines advantageous infrastructure and policy environment coupled with academic excellence. The country has unmatched capacity for attracting large multinationals that are backed by the best talent. These firms are often leaders in their sector and possess a dense network of medium and small sized enterprises across sectors. These strive for innovation and possess a reputation for quality. Additionally, intense collaboration with business and academic worlds yield products that are innovative as well as that yield commercial applications.
Although Europe is in a critical condition due to several aspects, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and Iceland have performed above the global average as far as competitiveness is concerned. The top European nations have managed to push the frontier in all segments considered in this study; there still persists a wide dispersion as far as regional performance is concerned on several pillars. There exists a wider gap in the pillar of macroeconomic environment. This reflects that the region has been recovering at an uneven pace from the financial crisis. A median performance has been demonstrated by European nations across the indicators that consider innovation. There exists significant gap in the Western and Northern European countries versus the Southern, Eastern and Central European nations. It is crucial for the European nations to accelerate the innovation efforts for maintaining the current prosperity levels.
High returns can be expected by Europe if a focus is established on nurturing the talent and resources. The gaps in indicators are more apparent for science and math education. Top success has been attained by Switzerland in attracting and retaining international talent. It gets the highest score in comparison to other European nations. However, when the average for the entire region is considered, it does not bode well for the creation of a vibrant knowledge economy. The most attractive destination in Europe for attracting talent is the United Kingdom. However, Brexit has created uncertainties in the conditions under which talent from other European nations may or may not be able to contribute to the UK economy in the future. There could be a drop in the university applications from the European Union amid the uncertainty. Switzerland shines in the major indices considered by the panel despite high rates of unemployment that bothers the European nations. The nation has managed to strike a right balance between strong social safety nets as well as high labor market flexibility.