Sunday, August 21, 2011

How Competitive is Your Favorite Country?

The World Economic Forum, (WEF) is an independent, international organization, that is, according to committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (  They are possibly best known for hosting the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  But they do more including preparing a range of research reports.  One of them is the Global Competitiveness Index, a fascinating look at countries around the world.

The 2010-2011 the report ranked the competitiveness of 139 countries with Switzerland holding the number one spot, and Chad coming in at 139.( )
In between  those two we note the US at #4, down a spot from last year, and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), five of the most talked about countries today, ranked as #58, 63, 51, 27 and 54. 

On the surface this may seem surprising unless one digs into the report and considers WEF definition of competitiveness “the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country”.   The ranks don't consider just one measure but represents a complex analysis of each country.

To develop the rankings countries are evaluated using the WEF’s 12 Pillars of Competitiveness which are Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic environment, Health and primary education, Higher education and training, Good market efficiency, Labor market efficiency, Technological readiness, Market size, Business sophistication and Innovation.  Twelve areas to consider as you do your own analysis of a country.  The report is filled with interesting observations along with lots of data.   It considers not just these 12 categories but their importance based on the developmental stage of each country.   Take some time and you may gain a fresh understanding of your favorite country.  What is its number and what does that tell you?

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