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Global Competitiveness Report: Israel improves to 24th ranking

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Sunday, September 19th, 2010

As published in Port2Port: Israel improved ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011, moving to 24 place compared to 27 place last year

The 31st edition of The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 published last week by the World Economic Forum, ahead of  the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010 in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China.

Switzerland tops the overall rankings. The United States falls two places to fourth position, overtaken by Sweden (2nd) and Singapore (3rd), after already ceding the top place to Switzerland last year. In addition to the macroeconomic imbalances that have been building up over time, there has been a weakening of the United States’ public and private institutions, as well as lingering concerns about the state of its financial markets. The Nordic countries continue to be well positioned in the ranking, with Sweden, Finland (7th) and Denmark (9th) among the top 10, and with Norway at 14th. Sweden overtakes the US and Singapore this year to be placed 2nd overall.

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 labor market.

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 wellas 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 andthe region’s third-largest economy, India, ranked 51st. The remaining two countries in BRIC, which consists of four large developing countries, settled in at 58th place for Brazil and 63rd for Russia. The top countries in the Middle East were Qatar at 17,Saudi Arabia at 21, Israel at 24 compared to 27th place in last year’s report, the United Arab Emirates 25, Oman 34, Kuwait 35 and Bahrain 37. In Latin America, Chile was the highest-rated country at 30, followed by Panama at 58, Costa Rice 56 and Brazil.

The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), developed for the World Economic Forum by Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, USA, and introduced in 2004. The GCI is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, providing a comprehensive picture of the competitiveness landscape in countries around the world at all stages of development.

The pillars are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.

The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the study. This year, over 13,500 business leaders were polled in 139 economies. The survey is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business climate. The report also includes comprehensive listings of the main strengths and weaknesses of countries, making it possible to identify key priorities for policy reform.