Switzerland keeps crown as most competitive economy

Tue Sep 3, 2013 6:05pm EDT
 
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By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - Switzerland has kept its title as the world's most competitive economy for the fifth year running, though it needs to resist any temptation to protect its core banking sector if it wants to stay top, the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday.

The Geneva-based body, most famous for gathering politicians and billionaires at an annual shindig in the Alpine resort of Davos, said the same economies made the top 10 as last year, but in a different order.

Singapore and Finland remained in second and third place respectively in the Forum's annual Global Competitiveness Report.

Germany, the United States, Hong Kong and Japan all edged up while Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom all slipped by two or three notches.

The United States' flair for innovation helped it reverse a four-year downward trend, although serious concerns remained over its macroeconomic stability, the Forum said, ranking it 117 out of 148 countries in that category.

The Forum bases its assessment on a dozen drivers of competitiveness, including institutions, infrastructure, health and education, market size and the macroeconomic environment.

The report also factors in a survey among business leaders, assessing the government's efficiency and transparency.

Switzerland scored well across the board, but the report said it needed to guard against complacency.   Continued...

 
An Airbus A 330-343E of Swiss airlines takes-off past a Swiss national flag from the airport in Zurich October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann