Dubai: IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, announced its annual world competitiveness ranking for 2014 in which the UAE retained its overall eighth position in the competitiveness ranking and topped in government efficiency.
As part of its ranking of 60 economies for 2014, the IMD World Competitiveness Centre also looks at perceptions of each country as a place to do business.
The US retains the No 1 spot in 2014, reflecting the resilience of its economy, better employment numbers, and its dominance in technology and infrastructure.
The UAE continued to be ranked above a number of developed economies such as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Australia and UK and regional peers like Qatar, which was ranked 19 in the global competitiveness ranking.
The business efficiency ranking, which ranks countries on the extent to which enterprises are performing in an innovative, profitable and responsible manner, the UAE was at 15th position where USA topped the list and the GCC peer Qatar was 24th position.
In the GCC, only the UAE and Qatar figure in IMD’s competitiveness ranking.
“The overall competitiveness story for 2014 is one of continued success in the US, partial recovery in Europe, and struggles for some large emerging markets,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.
“There is no single recipe for a country to climb the competitiveness rankings, and much depends on the local context.”
In this year’s ranking there are no big changes among the top ten. Small economies such as Switzerland (2), Singapore (3) and Hong Kong (4) continue to prosper thanks to exports, business efficiency and innovation.
Europe fares better than last year, thanks to its gradual economic recovery. Denmark (9) enters the top ten, joining Switzerland, Sweden (5), Germany (6) and Norway (10). Among Europe’s peripheral economies, Ireland (15), Spain (39) and Portugal (43) all rose in their rankings, while Italy (46) and Greece (57) fell in their overall competitiveness ranking.
Japan (21) continues to climb in the rankings, helped by a weaker currency that has improved its competitiveness abroad. Elsewhere in Asia, both Malaysia (12) and Indonesia (37) make gains, while Thailand (29) falls amid political uncertainty.
Most big emerging markets slide in the rankings as economic growth and foreign investment slow and infrastructure remains inadequate. China (23) falls, partly owing to concerns about its business environment, while India (44) and Brazil (54) suffer from inefficient labour markets and ineffective business management. Turkey (40), Mexico (41), the Philippines (42) and Peru (50) also fall.
Seven of the top 10 countries in the overall ranking for 2014 are also in the top 10 for having an image abroad that encourages business development, according to an exclusive IMD survey of executives based in each of these countries.
In general there is a strong correlation between a country’s overall competitiveness ranking and its international image as a place to do business.
Executives in Singapore are most bullish on their country’s overseas image, while Ireland, Chile, Qatar and South Korea are all far higher on this criterion than in the overall ranking.
By contrast, executives in the US, France, Taiwan and Poland are far gloomier about their countries’ international images. The US results may reflect international conflicts and domestic political gridlock, while perceptions of France continue to be coloured by slow reforms and the country’s negative attitudes toward globalisation.
“While economic performance changes from year to year, perceptions are longer-term and shift more gradually. They can also lead to a virtuous circle of better image and better economic performance,” Professor Bris said. “So how executives feel their country is being perceived is a potentially useful guide to future competitiveness developments there.”
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, which will be published at the end of June, measures how well countries manage all their resources and competencies to increase their prosperity.
The overall ranking reflects more than 300 criteria, two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of 4,300 international executives.