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Australia drops down world competitiveness ranking

31 May, 2015

IMD business school has announced its annual world competitiveness ranking. Ranking 61 economies in 2015, the IMD World Competitiveness Center looked at several aspects of each country as a place to conduct business.

Australia slipped a further place to 18, having fallen from a high of fifth for global competitiveness in 2009.

"A general analysis of the 2015 ranking shows that top countries are going back to the basics," said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center. "Productivity and efficiency are in the driver's seat of the competitiveness wagon. Companies are increasing their efforts to minimise their environmental impact and provide a strong organizational structure for workforces to thrive."

Ranking highlights

The USA remains at the top of the ranking as a result of its strong business efficiency and financial sector, its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure. Hong Kong (2) and Singapore (3) move up overtaking Switzerland, which drops to fourth place. Canada (5), Norway (7), Denmark (8), Sweden (9) and Germany (10) remain in the top 10. Luxembourg moves to the top (6) from 11th place in 2014.

Results for Asia are mixed. Malaysia (12 to 14), Japan (21 to 27), Thailand (29 to 30) and Indonesia (37 to 42) move down. Taiwan (13 to 11), Republic of Korea (26 to 25) and the Philippines (42 to 41) slightly rise.

Current events in Russia (38 to 45) and Ukraine (49 to 60) highlight the negative impact that armed conflict and the accompanying higher market volatility have on competitiveness.

A pattern of decline is observed in Latin America. Chile moves from 31 to 35, Peru from 50 to 54, Argentina from 58 to 59 and Venezuela remains at the bottom of the table. Colombia stays at 51.

Among large emerging economies, Brazil (54 to 56) and South Africa (52 to 53) slightly drop, China (23 to 22) and Mexico (41 to 39) experience improvements while India remains at the same spot (44).

The ranking highlights one particular commonality among the best ranking countries. Nine countries from the top 10 are also listed in the top 10 of the business efficiency factor.

Luxembourg experiences one of the largest gains in this factor (14 to 4) which greatly contributes to its ascendency. Qatar's improvement (19 to 13) largely reflects its recovering in terms of the business efficiency factor (24 to 11) due to increases in its overall productivity. Greece's recovery (57 to 50) also comes on a strong performance in business efficiency. Germany's retreat (6 to 10) is a reflection of its fall in business efficiency (9 to 16). Likewise Indonesia's decline is accompanied by a steep drop in the business efficiency factor (22 to 34).

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