US tops 2013 world competitiveness ranking
Updated: 2013-05-31 06:29
GENEVA - The US topped the 2013 world competitiveness ranking of 60 economies, followed by Switzerland and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, according to the IMD business school in Switzerland.
The US regained the top spot this year after having ranked the second in 2012 due to a rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies, IMD business school said on Thursday in an annual report.
Switzerland rose to the second place this year from last year's third, outranking the rest of Europe and surpassing Hong Kong which fell to the third place.
In Asia, the Chinese mainland and Japan also saw their competitiveness ranking rise by two and three notches to the 21st and 24th place respectively.
In Europe, against the context of a stalled eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany were the most competitive, whose success was built on export-oriented manufacturing, diversified economies, strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fiscal discipline, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the rest of Europe was heavily constrained by austerity programs that were delaying recovery and calling into question the timeliness of the measures proposed, the annual report noted.
Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said the debate on austerity measures is back in focus.
"Structural reforms are unavoidable, but growth remains a prerequisite for competitiveness. In addition, the harshness of austerity measures too often antagonizes the population. In the end, countries need to preserve social cohesion to deliver prosperity," said Garelli.
Meanwhile, BRICS economies experienced mixed fortunes. The report said emerging economies in general remained highly dependent on the delayed global economic recovery, but "BRICS remain lands of opportunities," said Garelli.
In Latin America, the rankings showed that Mexico, which ranked the 32nd, has seen a small revival in its competitiveness but it needed to be confirmed over time and by the continuous implementation of structural reforms.