The USA has again been named the world’s most competitive country in which to do business – the seventh year in succession it has topped the rankings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook published by Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development.

America led the field by a considerable margin after polling highest for business efficiency, direct investment flows and computer usage.

The UK rose from number 19 in 2001 to 16, one place behind Germany but ahead of France and Spain (numbers 22 and 23 respectively).

Japan, a former league leader, continued its slide down the table, falling from 26 last year to 30. The survey predicts that Japanese woes could be compounded if the euro begins to rival the yen as an alternative to the dollar.

Trailing the USA in the top five are Finland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Singapore; while languishing at the foot of the table are Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, Venezuela and Argentina.

Overall, 2001 was branded “a year to forget” by the report, which predicts a slow and bumpy road to recovery this year.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); International Institute for Management Development; additional content by WARC staff