The Word Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2010–2011: Looking Beyond the Global Economic Crisis

The Word Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2010–2011: Looking Beyond the Global Economic Crisis
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The Global Competitiveness Report 2010–2011 is being released at a time when the global economy continues to be characterized by significant uncertainty. Growth has resumed following important injections, in many countries, of government stimulus spending aimed at counterbalancing the worst global recession in decades.

Yet economies are advancing at different speeds and there is still the risk of a “double dip” in a number of countries. While emerging economies have, for the most part, bounced back to healthy growth, advanced economies face continuing difficulties such as persisting unemployment, weak demand, and spiraling debt, while still struggling with reforms in the financial and labor markets, among other challenges. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts growth of 6.25 percent for emerging markets, compared with 2.25 percent for advanced economies in 2010.

In this context, policymakers are being confronted with difficult economic management challenges.

Following their active stance in addressing the crisis and the ensuing recession, governments are struggling to unwind their deficit spending in an effort to control soaring debts. Indeed, fears of a double dip are hindering many governments from articulating clear exit strategies, a major topic of discussion in recent G-20 summits. Yet without a clear commitment to getting spending under control in the medium term, countries will compromise their future ability to make pro-growth investments in areas such as infrastructure, health, and education, which are necessary for sustained development and competitiveness over the longer term.

Today’s still-difficult economic environment requires not losing sight of long-term competitiveness fundamentals amid short-term urgencies. Indeed, any exit strategies must be complemented by competitiveness-enhancing efforts aimed at improving the potential for growth in the medium to longer run, which will in turn help to eliminate fiscal imbalances. Competitive economies are those that have in place factors driving the productivity enhancements on which their present and future prosperity is built. A competitiveness-supporting economic environment can help national economies to support high incomes and ensure that the mechanisms enabling solid economic performance going into the future are in place.”

Calculating the rankings

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. In 2010, 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.  The report contains an extensive data section with a detailed profile for each of the 139 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the rankings, as well as data tables with global rankings for over 110 indicators. ”

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010 By World Economic Forum / FlickR