In its annual Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum has named the United States as the most competitive economy in the world.
Under the new framework for competitiveness, the U.S. economy is the closest to the “competitiveness frontier”, followed by Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, says the closely-watched Report, which was published on Wednesday.
The U.S. is ranked the most competitive economy for the first time since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
The 2018 report was prepared using a new methodology that mapped the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies through 98 indicators, including workforce diversity, press freedom, labor rights, and disruptive businesses.
When combining these factors, the United States achieves the best overall performance with a score of 85.6, ahead of Singapore and Germany. The average score for the world is 60.
The key finding of the report is a warning that the changing nature of economic competitiveness in a world that is increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies is creating a new set of challenges for governments and businesses, which collectively run the risk of having a negative impact on future growth and productivity.
One unifying theme among the world’s most competitive economies is that they all possess considerable room for improvement. At the same time, one of the report’s most concerning findings is the relative weakness across the board when it comes to mastering the innovation process, from idea generation to product commercialization.
Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum, said, “Only those economies that recognize the importance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be able to expand opportunities for their people.”
The report cites that workers in the Global Competitiveness Index’s ten most competitive economies work on average five hours less per week than workers in the three BRICS economies – Brazil, India and Russia.
The Index finds that Singapore is the most “future-ready” economy, but it trails Sweden when it comes to having a digitally skilled workforce.
Switzerland has the most effective labor for re-skilling and retraining policies, while US companies are the fastest to embracing change.
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