• Sweden's news in English

Sweden 'fourth most competitive country'

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 18 May 2011, 10:59

Published: 18 May 2011 10:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden comes in behind Hong Kong and the US, both of which tied for first place, and third place Singapore.

Sweden's favourable ranking and improvement on 2010 is due to strong economic growth, allowing it to overtake Switzerland and Australia in the 2011 list.

The IMD rankings include 59 countries and are based on statistics and assessments from business leaders.

“The world of competitiveness becomes more national. ‘World Competitiveness 2.0’ is thus characterised by a greater self-reliance of countries. It increasingly emphasises re-industrialisation, exports, and a more critical look at delocalisation,” wrote IMD's Stéphane Garelli.

Garelli explained that the trend has been triggered by the climb in commodity and transport prices as well as higher labour costs in emerging economies.

"National champions are favoured everywhere and borders re-surface - again!" he wrote.

IMD also released the results of its first "Government efficiency gap" survey.

According to the findings the US was "rescued" by its business efficiency while Sweden, along with Australia and Singapore, displayed a greater balance.

Story continues below…

“Government spending has reached new highs since the recession: on average 47 percent of the GDPs in the most advanced economies. 12 European countries are already above the 50 percent threshold. The 23 biggest spenders are all European governments. How long can it last?" professor Garelli queried.

Garelli argued that in a new world of "state capitalism", government efficiency will assume increasing importance as a determinant of competitiveness.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:17 May 18, 2011 by Birbun
Is it a joke?

Which mentally sane person would invest in Sweden where the taxes eat much more than half of your profit?

Sweden economically survives only because it's a relatively large country with many natural resourced distributed on around 9 millions inhabitants.

Try to put 50 millions of persons in Sweden and we will see how many it would competitive.
15:03 May 18, 2011 by khurram.k
totally agreed with Birbun .... Sweden is the country there its almost impossible to be rich ... here you can have a good life and good life means u can eat you can pay your rents and once in a month you can go out for cinema or returent..... otherwise here is noting special like US and if you have 50 inch LED tv in home that definately you have on partially payment way via ON OFF or ELGEGANT:.....

16:13 May 18, 2011 by LeoKinmann
Obviously the statistics don't take a lot of things into account. Keep posting news like this thelocal, keep adding more sweetener for the self-indulged Swedish chauvinists who don't know better.
17:11 May 18, 2011 by cornpone
Everyone knows Sweden cooks the books so that they come out on top in all this stats. Total BS. Worst country in Europe to start a small business. Now if they mean that Sweden is competitive because the oligarches run a corporatist (read fascist) economy where their profits are ensured by the government then yes I guess Sweden is competitive.
17:12 May 18, 2011 by swedejane
Corporate taxes are not the same as personal taxes, and personal income is not the same as corporate. I can buy that Sweden is ranked 4th in competitiveness. They have a well-educated talent pool, lots of natural resources, good infrastructure, and a strong legal system (the Assange case aside). There may be reasons for not wanting to *work* in Sweden, but as far as setting up a company I don't think it's as bad as some make it out to be.
19:46 May 18, 2011 by jamesblish
Wow, I didn't know we were an oligarchy. Learn something new every day.
19:48 May 18, 2011 by Renfeh Hguh
@khurram.k you don't have a clue do you. Sweden is a great place to make it rich, certainly better than many other countries of similar size.
19:52 May 18, 2011 by philster61
Errrr ..this report was done by the Swiss. When was the last time anybody took the Swiss seriously? The only thing Sweden competes with is to see if they can make their tax rate higher than Norways.
20:11 May 18, 2011 by Iraniboy
Can thelocal posters trust the words of specialists for a record now?

By the way being top of on the list is not really the best thing one country can achieve. HDI and people's overall education and health is a better representative of successful system!
20:46 May 18, 2011 by prince T
This is good news. The only thing is dat i dont see it at all
22:21 May 18, 2011 by bathplugds22
khurram.k & birbun........meow! saucer of milk for you two!
09:09 May 19, 2011 by Nemesis
Anyone who believes that Sweden is the fourth most competitive country in the world, please post me your credit card with pin number or send all your money for me to invest with no guarentee of any return.

This article is nonsense.

A suggestion for the local. If you are going to write an article try sticking to facts instead of repeating gibberish.
09:11 May 19, 2011 by stenhuggaren
I guess most of the posters here aren't coping too well in the competition.
09:42 May 19, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Sweden is competitive by Euro standards, but more competitive than Australia or even Canada? That just doesn't smell right.
12:51 May 19, 2011 by cogito
19:46 May 18, 2011 by jamesblish

"Wow, I didn't know we were an oligarchy. Learn something new every day"

No surprise, James. Your frequent posts reveal that you don't know much about anything--not about Sweden, and especially not about other countries.

Such cluelessness indicates you probably went to school in Sweden.
05:29 May 20, 2011 by cookiemaster
How can one compare Sweden and Switzerland !!? Sweden is number one exactly because of its swamps and unique swampy people who have developed there unlike anywhere else in the world. No country in Europe or in the world can compare with Sweden.

Switzerland is exactly opposite of Sweden. Corruption and multiculturalism except for isolated parts where culture still managed to survive somehow...
22:12 May 20, 2011 by lel
and with such competitive food prices .... not

Kg bannas in Uk 10kr

in Sweden 20kr

Tropicana juice 3 x 1 ltr for £3 in UK

1ltr for 28kr in Sweden

Prices from 10 days ago ...
13:13 May 21, 2011 by Mxzf
Food prices are much worse in Switzerland.

I don't think this is about starting small businesses, about income taxes or food prices. It's about how well the governments are doing and competitive the companies in the various countries are. Our IKEA, H&M etc are doing pretty ok, and we - contrary to popular belief - were not hit very hard by the economy crisis. We have lots of R&D.

I'm not saying we're doing that good, but everyone else - except those three - might very well be doing worse.
19:36 May 21, 2011 by hartleyhare
I don't know much about competitiveness, but I know something about food pricing. "lel" the price of bananas in the UK bears no resemblance to the cost of getting them to the store, UK retailers use them as a loss leader. At least the SE pricing is realistic and is more likely to give the growers a reasonable return. I suspect you'll find the Tropicana pricing in the UK is distorted by deals between Pepsi (the owners) and the retailers, while yes, in SE juice makes a nice margin for the store...
Today's headlines
Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available