(Q24N) Forbes.com – Each year, the IMD World Competitiveness Center, a part of Lausanne-based business school IMD, considers the ability of countries around the world to “create and maintain an environment in which enterprises can compete.”
To determine the countries around the world where competition is thriving, the centre looks at data from organizations including the World Bank and IMF , private enterprises like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Mercer HR Consulting, national data from partner organizations, and survey data collected from executives about circumstances in their country.
Countries are evaluated against a host of criteria, including economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
1. United States
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $49,800. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.
US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals’ home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.Long-term problems include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.
2. China – Hong Kong
As a high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban.
The German economy – the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe’s largest – is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and declining net immigration are increasing pressure on the country’s social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.
Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, has contributed to strong growth and falling unemployment.