Research - 27.09.2016 - 00:00 

Switzerland comes first in the global competition

Today, on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017. Switzerland defended its first place in the Global Competitiveness Index as the world’s most competitive nation for the eighth time in a row.

28 September 2016. The Swiss national economy again occupies first place in the Global Competitiveness Index, thus underpinning its strong, sustainable competitiveness since the financial crisis in 2008. Switzerland's performance again remained robust; indeed, it even improved in comparison with the preceding year, which means that Switzerland attained the best result since the introduction of the measuring method in 2007. The distance to the runner-up Singapore was slightly increased.

As in previous year, the Swiss national economy owes its excellent place to the universally good performance in the individual areas. It is placed among the "top ten" in eleven out of twelve categories. It now even tops the ranking in four of them. In particular, it is the above-average innovation potential of Switzerland as a centre of thought leadership and work (first place), which manifests itself in, among other things, the high number of patent applications (third place), the quality of scientific research institutions (first place) and the level of expenditure on research and development (first place), as well as the unusually high development level of the economy (first place) that make Switzerland the world's most competitive nation.

Switzerland scores with technology and efficiency

In addition, Switzerland scores with the highest degree of efficiency of the national labour market (first place), which is characterised inter alia by very good social partnerships and flexibility. This also includes the ability to attract the most talented employees and retain them in the country (both first place). Higher education and on-the-job training options are also excellent. Switzerland is now also first in the field of technological readiness, which is measured with factors such as broadband use and the use of state-of-the-art technological applications. The high quality of educational institutions (fourth place), which is primarily reflected in the world’s best scientific institutions and management schools, as well as dual vocational training, and close cooperation between business and academia (first place), allow for the development of intelligent products and processes for commercial application.

Swiss public institutions are among the world’s most transparent and efficient (sixth place), which reinforces confidence in business activities. Also, infrastructural facilities are of a very high quality (sixth place), legal security is guaranteed, and public institutions are extremely honest. Finally, Switzerland’s macroeconomic environment is among the world’s most stable (fourth place).

Challenge: corporate tax reform and regulation

The taxation levied on companies is now regarded as a primary potential problem concerning the preservation of the high degree of competitiveness (keyword: corporate tax reform). In addition, increasing bureaucratisation and regulation, as well as access to talented employees, are among entrepreneurs' biggest worries.

As a partner of the WEF, the Executive School of the University of St.Gallen (ES-HSG) again conducted this year's survey among the executives of Swiss firms. This survey is regarded as the most important component of the Global Competitiveness Report and contains those indicators which make the report an annually representative yardstick for all nations' international competitiveness. 

Bild: Photocase / kb-photodesign

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