Switzerland ranked top in competitiveness; US falls
The United States continued its fall in the rankings of a global competitiveness report released Thursday, dropping from first place to fourth in two years as Switzerland retained the top spot for a second year in a row, followed by Sweden and Singapore, DPA reported.
While the United States is a leader in productivity, innovation and competitiveness, the world's largest economy has shown growing weaknesses in recent years, the World Economic Forum said in releasing its rankings. Those included its burgeoning government budget deficit, financial market development, corporate ethics, and public and corporate trust of the government
As for the world's newly minted second-largest economy, China was ranked 27th, moving up two spots, while the highest rated eurozone country was Germany in fifth, also up two places from last year. Japan with the third-largest economy in the world was ranked sixth.
The country at the bottom of the 139-nation rankings was Chad.
Switzerland was singled out for the top honours because of its sophisticated business culture and innovation, characterized by its high level of scientific research organizations, high spending on research and development and a large number of patents, said the World Economic Forum, known for its annual meeting of economic and world leaders in that Alpine country.
Sweden, which switched places with the United States from last year's rankings, was noted for its transparent and efficient government and corporate ethics.
Germany moved up two places from last year as its macroeconomic position improved in comparison with other large economies. It was praised for its infrastructure and sophisticated and productive businesses but was given low marks for its inflexible labour market.
Europe was the region with the most countries in the top 10 with Scandinavia doing particularly well. Finland was seventh, the Netherlands eighth and Denmark ninth although it fell four spots.
East Asia was another region that performed well.
While Singapore retained its third place from 2009 - lauded for its efficient goods and labour markets and government as well as the sophistication of its financial markets, infrastructure and education - Japan moved up two notches.
Hong Kong was 11th, Taiwan 13th, South Korea 22nd and Malaysia 22nd, all ahead of China and the region's third-largest economy, India, ranked 51st.