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Top 10 most economically competitive countries

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The top ten most competitive global economies, according to the findings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, are as follows:

10. UK

  • GCI score: 5.37
  • GDP per capita: US$ 38, 589 (23rd highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 90.3% (11th highest)
  • % of residents using the internet: 87% (11th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Access to financing

The UK, which was considered the eighth most competitive economy in last year’s rankings, has fallen two places. However, the country remains the eighth largest economy by GDP and has some of the most efficient labour practices in the world; the UK ranks fourth for its ability to attract talent and fifth overall in labour market efficiency.

The quality of higher education and training in the UK is not outstanding , but the country has some of the best business management schools and ranks among the top countries for internet access in schools.

The biggest obstacle to doing business in the UK is access to financing. This factor was the overwhelming choice of survey respondents, well above tax rates and government bureaucracy, both tied for the next most selected factor.

During the financial crisis, Britain had to bail out two of the country’s largest banks, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, which remain state owned.

9. Japan

  • GCI score: 5.40
  • GDP per capita: US$ 46, 736 (13th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 237.9% (the highest)
  • % of residents using internet: 79.1% (24th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Tax rates

Japan received top marks in regards to business sophistication due to an abundance of local suppliers, highly sophisticated production processes and its prominent role in the international distribution of goods and services. Companies in Japan spend considerable amounts on research and development, ranking second, behind only Switzerland.

Tax rates were the biggest reported problem in doing business, according to the WEF survey. However, taxes may be set to rise even further as part of the nation’s ‘Abenomics’ plan, pushed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to combine aggressive economic stimulus with structural reform.

8. The Netherlands

  • GCI score: 5.42
  • GDP per capita: US$ 46, 142 (4th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 71.7% (31st highest)
  • % of residents using the internet: 93% (4th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Access to financing

The Netherlands is a reliable trade partner and competitive advanced economy due to strong infrastructure, few reports of corruption and high quality health and education systems. Port infrastructure in the Netherlands was ranked first out of all countries surveyed.

The most problematic factor for doing business, according to the survey, was access to financing. According to the European Commission, applicants in the Netherlands were denied loans nearly twice as often as the European average, and when application succeeded, lenders charged much higher interest rates than other EU countries.

Financial market development was not the strongest economic indicator for the Netherlands, but the country still ranked 30th out of the 148 countries in terms of the availability of financial services.

7. Hong Kong (SAR)

  • GCI score: 5.47
  • GDP per capita: US$ 36 667 (25th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 32.4% (42nd lowest)
  • % of residents using internet: 72.8% (33rd highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Insufficient capacity to innovate

According to the WEF, Hong Kong has the best infrastructure in the world, with the most consistent electricity and some of the best road and rail networks.

The special administrative region of China is extremely healthy, reporting only 1.4 infant deaths per 1000 live births, the lowest rate in the world, and an average life expectancy at birth of 83.4 years, the highest in the world.

The survey also judged Hong Kong to be the most developed financial market in the world. Financial services in the region are some the most available and affordable. In addition, the pay received by workers in the city is widely held to be related to their productivity, a string indicator of an efficient labour market.

However, despite reportedly high levels of convenience and economic freedom, residents of Hong Kong reported that insufficient capacity for innovation was the greatest hindrance in doing business.

6. Sweden

  • GCI score: 5.48
  • GDP per capita: US$ 55 158 (8th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 38% (62nd lowest)
  • % of residents using the internet: 94% (3rd highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Restrictive labour regulations

Sweden has fallen slightly in the competiveness index in the past three years, from third in 2011 to sixth this year. Despite this, the country still ranks first in terms of technological readiness, the WEF’s measure of how nations incorporate existing technologies to improve efficiency, with Swedish companies absorbing new technologies better than those in any other country.

People living in Sweden are also among those using the internet the most, and mobile subscriptions are among the highest in the world. Ericsson, a large Swedish telecommunications company, has remained relevant in a very competitive global wireless technology industry.

In addition, the country has the largest concentration of patent applications of all countries assessed in the WEF report, nearly 303 per million residents.

5. USA

  • GCI score: 5.48
  • GDP per capita: US$ 49 922 (11th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 106.5% (9th highest)
  • % of residents using internet: 81% (20th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Tax regulations

The US is still experiencing a weak economic environment, due largely to the nation’s massive government deficit and debt burden. Despite this, the US is more competitive this year than last, according to the WEF survey, up from seventh place to fifth.

The US ranked seventh for the availability of financial services, and was one of the top five nations for the availability of venture capital and the ease of raising money through equity markets.

The US additionally ranked as one of the top countries for the attraction and retention of talent. The country is also home to many highly sophisticated businesses.

4. Germany

  • GCI score: 5.51
  • GDP per capita: US$ 41 513 (21st highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 82% (19th highest)
  • % of residents using internet: 84% (16th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Tax regulations

Germany is a consistently high scoring country in all major categories the WEF uses to measure competitiveness. In addition to being one of the world’s largest economies, Germany provides its residents with an extremely well developed infrastructure, top quality higher education and training, and a sophisticated and innovative private sector.

The local availability of research and training services in Germany is the second best in the world, behind only Switzerland.

Germany also scored in the top 10 for six out of the nine factors in the infrastructure category.

Germany also has a highly sophisticated business climate, with nine out of 10 factors in this category ranked in the top 10, including first place position for value chain breadth.

3. Finland

  • GCI score: 5.54
  • GDP per capita: US$ 46 098 (16th> highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 53.3% (48th highest)
  • % of residents using the internet: 91% (7th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Restrictive labour regulations

Finland is the top ranked country in the world for innovation and is also one of the top countries in the world for business sophistication. Finland has the third best score for company R&D expenditure, and its capacity for innovation ranked second out of 148 countries. Scientists and engineers residing in the country were also considered to be more widely available than comparable professionals in any other country.

The WEF ranked Finland first place for higher education and training.

2. Singapore

  • GCI score: 5.61
  • GDP per capita: US$ 51 162 (10th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 111% (8th highest)
  • % of residents using the internet: 74.2% (29th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Restrictive labour regulations

Singapore has some of the highest quality institutions, as well as some of the best infrastructure and education systems in the world, according to the WEF. The citizens of Singapore have the most trust in their politicians, the most transparent government policy making, and the most efficient legal framework for settling disputes.

Singapore’s air transport infrastructure was rated the best out of 148 countries.

The country also ranks first place in the quality of maths and science education.

Singapore’s labour market is reported to be more efficient than that of any other country, due in part to the country’s ability to attract talent.

1. Switzerland

  • GCI score: 5.67
  • GDP per capita: US$ 79 033 (4th highest)
  • Debt as % of GDP: 49.1% (59th highest)
  • % of residents using internet: 85.2% (13th highest)
  • Biggest problem in doing business: Inadequately educated workforce

Switzerland topped the list this year, as the world’s most competitive economy. The nation ranked the best in the world for both business sophistication and innovation. It was also the top country in the world for supplier quality and for the amount businesses spent on research and development and university-industry R&D collaboration. Some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world are based in Switzerland and contribute to the country’s strongest competitiveness indicators.

To learn more about the World Economic Forum’s findings in this report, see also ‘The world’s best economies’.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/11092013/top_10_most_economically_competitive_countries_641/


 

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