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Sweden ranked 'most competitive' EU country

The Local · 1 Jun 2012, 09:40

Published: 01 Jun 2012 09:40 GMT+02:00

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IMD announced its findings on Thursday in the annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, which ranks how successfully countries increase their prosperity by managing their economic and human resources.

The number one spot went to Hong Kong, which received a top score of 100, followed closely behind by the US, Switzerland and Singapore.

Sweden, with a score of 91.4 came in fifth overall, dropping one place from 2011’s 4ht place ranking.

Sweden is mentioned in the statement among countries with a positive attitude toward reforms and a positive development toward globalization.

The IMD rankings feature 59 countries and are based on statistics and assessments from business leaders. The results were comprised from a survey of more than 4,200 international executives, and revolved around 329 ranking criteria.

European countries rated highly in the rankings, with Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Germany coming inside of the top ten, countries which the report explained have export-oriented manufacturing and fiscal discipline.

Another six European countries were ranked in the top 20. Rounding out the top ten were Canada, Taiwan, Norway, Germany and Qatar.

According to the findings, the US rated highly “despite its setbacks” due to its “unique economic power, the dynamism of its enterprises and its capacity for innovation,” wrote IMD.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, the report showed that emerging economies are still suffering turmoil with China at 23, India at 35 and Brazil at 46 having all fallen from 2011’s report.

TT/The Local/og


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Your comments about this article

10:17 June 1, 2012 by Migga
Great to see Sweden getting it`s due. It`s important to be innovative and competitive when one is so export-oriented.
10:25 June 1, 2012 by gpafledthis
And we have 30-40 malmos !! this is nothing to crow about !! US sons of sweedie expats still are showing the mothers boys how it's done !!
11:19 June 1, 2012 by byke
I love how a country slips down on a ranking system which is dubious to begin with is hailed as an achievement.
12:05 June 1, 2012 by Abe L
#3 - Exactly what I thought.

And being Europe's most competitive country is the equivalent of scoring gold in the Paralympics. Nothing worth bragging about.
12:22 June 1, 2012 by Migga
#4 @Abe L

Switzerland is Europes most competitive country, Sweden comes after that. But Sweden is the most competitive country in the European Union, which is dragging it`s members down.
12:28 June 1, 2012 by towns
I'm a little surprised some people here are so dismissive of "competitiveness" when it takes into account things like property rights, corruption, accountability, quality of infrastructure, macroeconomy and education. All of which are pretty important indicators to a functioning society, I'd think!!
13:17 June 1, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
Sweden slipped from three to four, and now from four to five and people are honestly selling this as a success?

Ironically, my mother in law who lives in Medelpad just yesterday sent me a series of pictures showing how 3rd world like the streets there are. Beginning of the week they once more had a power blackout which happens there all the damn time and her husband constantly needs to drive backup busses because the trains fail in like 4-5 out of 10 cases. But hey, all is great, we are awesome. Cant you see how competitive everything is?

Thanks but no thanks, first hand experience versus mathematical number games from some potentially bribed or biased number fakers? I take the first.

The golden rule is to not and never trust any "statistic" you have not faked yourself.
13:30 June 1, 2012 by aven
Hong Kong is not a country, how could be ranked number one most competitive country...
13:44 June 1, 2012 by Mb 65
I don't know how their customer service is crap and they are always on holiday.
13:58 June 1, 2012 by towns
@ HelmiVainikka (#7)

I haven't been following these competitiveness rankings for the last few years or so, so I wasn't aware Sweden had slipped from 3rd to 5th place, indeed nothing to celebrate!

"Thanks but no thanks, first hand experience versus mathematical number games from some potentially bribed or biased number fakers? I take the first."

14:50 June 1, 2012 by Puddi
#8 - Hong Kong is a city state and is, as such, considered a country. Just like Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, Vatican City etc.

#7 - Those stories can be told about any country and are not at all related to how competitive a country's economy is. Heck, considering Hong Kong and the US are ranked higher than Sweden in this ranking should say enough; the social differences are HUGE in both cases. Power outages and public transport failures are a whole different category... And when we would take those things in consideration, Sweden can still be said to be one of the best countries in the world. Even comparing to Norway, which is one of the richest countries in the world, but the public transport in the Northern parts there is really just one big joke.
15:12 June 1, 2012 by RobinHood
@Towns and HelmiVainikka

Despite the state of the local train service in Medelpad, and falling one place from 2011, little Sweden has the most competitive economy in the EU, and one of the most competitive economies in the world.

And you two still actually manage to find something to complain about. Off to Hong Kong with the pair of you; obviously, nowhere else meets your standards. You will not be missed.
15:39 June 1, 2012 by aven
#11 mmm always confused about this:) Google a abit, it says:

"It is a special state, you could say. The professional name is Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) Hong Kong is a Dependency which comes under Chinese jurisdiction. The old administrative capital of Hong Kong was Victoria which has now been renamed Central.
15:49 June 1, 2012 by towns
@ RobinHood

Seriously? Finding poor infrastructure and wanting to improve upon it is a positive aspect and if anything HelmiVainikka is just trying to warn how we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back when there's still aspects to be improved upon. And why would I want to move to Hong Kong? Silly idea coming from you if you ask me (and the rest of your assumptions in that second little paragraph of yours are frankly quite rude)
16:00 June 1, 2012 by hjoian
And the quality of this forum is much,much lower than it used to be.......
16:04 June 1, 2012 by HelmiVainikka

Oh wow, look at you go!

I love the choleric touch to it and makes me think about this...how did that saying go? Ah yes!

"Wounded dogs tend to whine"

I am truly sorry if I or anyone else rained into your celebration of a study that proves the greatness of the Swedish economy since as we all know the validity of studies is always bullet proof, unbiased, fair and completely without any ulterior motives. That is exactly why there is never any counter-study to anything.

Lets just stop thinking about anything and have Institutes, TV and corporate controlled Media tell us what is going on. After all, we are "One happy family!"

If you find some irony in this, keep it. ;)

And just a little hint: Those who think they are perfect, stop evolving.

I am assuming that is the reason why you are better off gambling on cracking the jackpot than taking your chance with a bus there.

Why improve anything? Why actually listen and care? The STUDY shows we rock so we do! Pass me a lussebulle while we wait another hour for the bus that was supposed to be there 2 hours ago! Superbra!! (and no thats not even made up)

Come the f... on dude. Its people like you why countries fall into a frozen state.

They forget to take care about the things that matter aside of shiny numbers and high gloss PDFs. The people.
21:26 June 1, 2012 by libertarianism
"Fiscal Discipline" = reduced ambulance services and emergency rooms? Rationed coffee and butter for the elderly? Wait times that kill? Paltry sentencing for rapists and murderers? F*ck these "business leaders."
13:11 June 2, 2012 by eppie
Being so high up in this ranking is a good thing. Especially if you see which the other countries higher up are.

The US, but they can invest so much because they don't care about their immens debts. Norway has billions of oil income.

The swiss are still benefiting from their semi-legal income from the banking sector, and so are loaded as well, and Hong Kong is where all the rich Chinese go (and the poor chinese are not allowed.

All countries that for various reasons that are ethically not healthy or are just lain luck, are loaded. For sweden to be up there with those is a tremendous result.
08:49 June 9, 2012 by Paul Goodman
Sweden is a relatively well managed country, but is suffering from a school system in disarray. It is amazing that it is still competitive given the breakdown. It does not help that the Nazi-lite party is gaining power and is now the third biggest:


Now, if the country were less competitive, you could argue the Nazi-lite party would grow even stronger. But, if the Nazi-lite party represents displaced industrial workers and communities hurt by globalization, then you realize that part of the competitiveness ranking stuff is bullshit.

Sweden has not organized its educational system properly and if it did it could be MORE competitive. Tax breaks or a more literate population? Why can't Sweden embrace a well-run economy and fight illiteracy and figure out why its Nazi-lite parties are tied to the breakdown in education and the fact that certain populations are left behind. There are cultural explanations for the Nazi-lite parties, I'm sure. But, how do you change culture among people who can't read properly? You can't.
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