This week the World Economic Forum released the 2012-2013 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report. The report measures the business operating environment and competitiveness of over 140 countries worldwide. It also acts as a benchmarking tool for the public and private sectors by identifying the many advantages and obstacles economies face on their way to national growth. As the balance of economic activity shifts away from advanced economies toward emerging markets, many countries are trying to push their economies forward despite the increasingly complex global landscape. This year’s report shows interesting results as some countries were able to accomplish this feat more so than others.
The country of Switzerland claimed this year’s top spot in the overall rankings for the fourth consecutive year. Switzerland’s low corruption and its globalized business climate account for much of the success in the global competitiveness rankings. Other Northern and Western European countries also fared well in the rankings. In fact the top 10 was dominated by European countries including the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom. The new report emphasizes that many of these countries are able to compete across and within regions cooperatively, while political deadlocks in other countries hold back economic performance and competitiveness. Two keys were mentioned by the report as ways to foster economic growth in struggling regions. Productivity improvements and private sector investment are two major factors that can help create a positive global economic outlook.