Global Competitiveness 2016

A Shift At The Top & Romania Has Lost Ground

The competitiveness of a nation – which judges a country’s ability to create and maintain an environment that helps businesses – is a very significant indicator for development.

The ‘World Competitiveness Yearbook‘ – compiled and published annually since 1989 by the IMD business school – is widely acknowledged as the most reputable measures of global competitiveness.

The just released ‘2016 edition‘ of the assessment of global competitiveness shows a remarkable shift at the top. The US was knocked down from of its top ranking to 3rd place as Hong Kong took over and Switzerland finished 2nd.

A consistent commitment to a favorable business environment was central to Hong Kong’s rise and that Switzerland’s small size and its emphasis on a commitment to quality have allowed it to react quickly to keep its economy on top.

The US may still boasts the best economic performance in the world, but there are many other factors that we take into account when assessing competitiveness.” says Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

The study is based on analysis of over 340 criteria derived from four principal factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

The common pattern among all of the countries in the top positions is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure, inclusive institutions.

With regard to Romania – who has lost two positions in the ‘World Competitive Scoreboard 2016’ from 47 to 49 – competitiveness is key since it’s the most important factor for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Thereby, Romania’s attractiveness for international investors diminished, that’s crucial, especially given the fact that the most impressive strides in Europe have been made by a bunch of Romanias ‘FDI-competitors’ in the region: Among them Latvia (37th), the Slovak Republic (40th) and Slovenia (43th) who each gained 6 positions since last year.

The ‘Yearbook’ confirms my personal – and completely non-scientific impression – I’ve got on a recent visit of the Bratislava region and learned that Slovakia has been producing more cars per capita last year than any other country in the world.

Find out more about the IMD World Competitivenes Ranking.

imd world competitiveness scoreboard

Western European economies have also continued to improve, with researchers highlighting the ongoing post-financial-crisis recovery (see infographic ‘World Is Heading Back To Pre-crisis Levels’).


Global leader: Hong Kong overtook the US as the most competitive place for business.

hong kong

Slovakia: Increased competitiveness has been a main driver for the small landlocked state to become the largest car-producer per capita in the world.

bratislava car production


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