07 September 2000

The US has been declared the most competitive nation in the world in the World Economic Forum’s annual report measuring growth prospects. Singapore, top for the last four years, dropped into second place.

The ‘Celtic Tiger’ of the Irish Republic came a respectable fifth, while the UK scraped into the top ten at number nine. The top ten countries in the report are:

1. USA
2. Singapore
3. Luxembourg
4. Netherlands
5. Ireland
6. Finland
7. Canada
8. Hong Kong
9. UK
10. Switzerland

Outside the top ten, European heavyweights Germany and France weighed in at 15 and 22 respectively. The survey covered 59 countries around the world, and there were few shocks among the nations bringing up the rear:

50. El Salvador
51. Bolivia
52. Colombia
53. Vietnam
54. Venezuela
55. Russia
56. Zimbabwe
57. Ukraine
58. Bulgaria
59. Ecuador

The report used statistics from the IMF and the Bank of International Settlements, along with a variety of other data, although this has been criticised by some as too arbitrary.

A rival survey by the International Institute for Management Development uses different techniques and tends to produce different results, albeit that both reports this year award the top two places to the same countries.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)