The 33 most competitive countries in the world

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Silat Melayu is the main martial arts for the ethnic Malays in Malaysia.
source
Wikimedia Commons

It is a critical time for the global economy.

On the one hand, countries are seeing higher unemployment and lower growth. On the other hand, some economists believe we might be on the edge of the “fourth industrial revolution,” with new developments and new ways of consuming.

“Whether economies get trapped in the new normal or harvest the benefits of the latest innovations for their societies will crucially depend on their levels of competitiveness,” writes Richard Samas of the World Economic Forum.

With that in mind, the World Economic Forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab, and Columbia University professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin put together its 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness report, ranking the competitiveness of 140 countries.

Countries were ranked according to the “12 pillars of competitiveness,” such as infrastructure and innovation.

We put together a list of the top 33 most competitive countries in the world, including various scores. Each number represents the country’s rank in the world out of 140.


33. Spain

source
Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler

How Spain holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 65 Infrastructure: 10 Macroeconomic environment: 116 Health and primary education: 32

Its standout factors: Infrastructure (10) and market size (15)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Access to financing

Source: World Economic Forum


32. Thailand

source
Reuters/Sukree Sukplan

How Thailand holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 82 Infrastructure: 44 Macroeconomic environment: 27 Health and primary education: 67

Its standout factors: Market size (18) and macroeconomic development (27)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Government instability and coups

Source: World Economic Forum


31. Czech Republic

source
Reuters/David W Cerny

How Czech Republic holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 57 Infrastructure: 41 Macroeconomic environment: 21 Health and primary education: 27

Its standout factors: Macroeconomic environment (21) and financial-market development (24)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inefficient government bureaucracy

Source: World Economic Forum


30. Estonia

source
Reuters/Ints Kalnins

How Estonia holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 25 Infrastructure: 33 Macroeconomic environment: 15 Health and primary education: 22

Its standout factors: Labor-market efficiency (15) and macroeconomic environment (15)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inadequately educated workforce

Source: World Economic Forum


29. Iceland

source
Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski

How Iceland holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 18 Infrastructure: 19 Macroeconomic environment: 42 Health and primary education: 8

Its standout factors: Technological readiness (6) and health and primary education (8)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Foreign-currency regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


28. China

source
Reuters

How China holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 51 Infrastructure: 39 Macroeconomic environment: 8 Health and primary education: 44

Its standout factors: Market size (1) and macroeconomic environment (8)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Insufficient capacity to innovate

Source: World Economic Forum


27. Israel

source
Flickr

How Israel holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 41 Infrastructure: 32 Macroeconomic environment: 50 Health and primary education: 39

Its standout factors: Innovation (3) and technological readiness (20)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inefficient government bureaucracy

Source: World Economic Forum


26. South Korea

source
Reuters/Thomas Peter

How South Korea holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 69 Infrastructure: 13 Macroeconomic environment: 5 Health and primary education: 23

Its standout factors: Macroeconomic environment (5) and market size (13)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Policy instability

Source: World Economic Forum


25. Saudi Arabia

source
Reuters/Naseem Zeitoon

How Saudi Arabia holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 24 Infrastructure: 30 Macroeconomic environment: 4 Health and primary education: 49

Its standout factors: Macroeconomic environment (4) and market size (17)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


24. Ireland

source
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

How Ireland holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 12 Infrastructure: 27 Macroeconomic environment: 87 Health and primary education: 12

Its standout factors: Goods-market efficiency (7) and health and primary education (12)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Access to financing

Source: World Economic Forum


23. Austria

source
Reuters/Herwig Prammer

How Austria holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 21 Infrastructure: 15 Macroeconomic environment: 45 Health and primary education: 19

Its standout factors: Business sophistication (8) and infrastructure (15)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Tax rates

Source: World Economic Forum


22. France

source
Reuters/Marko Djurica

How France holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 29 Infrastructure: 8 Macroeconomic environment: 77 Health and primary education: 16

Its standout factors: Market size (8) and infrastructure (8)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


21. Australia

source
Reuters/David Gray

How Australia holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 19 Infrastructure: 16 Macroeconomic environment: 28 Health and primary education: 9

Its standout factors: Financial-market development (7) and higher education and training (8)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


20. Luxembourg

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Reuters/Frederic Sierakowski/Pool

How Luxembourg holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 6 Infrastructure: 17 Macroeconomic environment: 14 Health and primary education: 34

Its standout factors: Technological readiness (1) and goods-market efficiency (4)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inadequately educated workforce

Source: World Economic Forum


19. Belgium

source
Reuters/Francois Lenoir

How Belgium holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 22 Infrastructure: 21 Macroeconomic environment: 65 Health and primary education: 3

Its standout factors: Health and primary education (3) and higher education and training (5)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Tax rates

Source: World Economic Forum


18. Malaysia

source
Wikimedia Commons

How Malaysia holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 23 Infrastructure: 24 Macroeconomic environment: 35 Health and primary education: 24

Its standout factors: Goods-market efficiency (6) and financial-market development (9)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inefficient government bureaucracy

Source: World Economic Forum


17. United Arab Emirates

source
Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

How the United Arab Emirates hold up in basic requirements:Institutions: 9 Infrastructure: 4 Macroeconomic environment: 7 Health and primary education: 38

Its standout factors: Goods-market efficiency (3) and infrastructure (4)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


16. New Zealand

source
Reuters/Brandon Malone

How New Zealand holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 3 Infrastructure: 28 Macroeconomic environment: 22 Health and primary education: 5

Its standout factors: Financial-market development (1) and institutions (3)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inadequate supply of infrastructure

Source: World Economic Forum


15. Taiwan

source
Reuters/Jason Reed

How Taiwan holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 27 Infrastructure: 12 Macroeconomic environment: 13 Health and primary education: 14

Its standout factors: Innovation (11) and infrastructure (12)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Policy instability

Source: World Economic Forum


14. Qatar

source
Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad

How Qatar holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 4 Infrastructure: 18 Macroeconomic environment: 2 Health and primary education: 28

Its standout factors: Macroeconomic environment (2) and institutions (4)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


13. Canada

source
REUTERS/Petr Josek

How Canada holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 16 Infrastructure: 14 Macroeconomic environment: 39 Health and primary education: 7

Its standout factors: Labor-market efficiency (7) and health and primary care (7)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Insufficient capacity to innovate

Source: World Economic Forum


12. Denmark

source
Reuters/Brian Snyder

How Denmark holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 15 Infrastructure: 22 Macroeconomic environment: 11 Health and primary education: 21

Its standout factors: Technological readiness (9) and higher education and training (9)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Tax rates

Source: World Economic Forum


11. Norway

source
Reuters/Jerry Lampen

How Norway holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 5 Infrastructure: 31 Macroeconomic environment: 1 Health and primary education: 10

Its standout factors: Macroeconomic environment (1) and institutions (5)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


10. United Kingdom

source
Reuters/Luke MacGregor

How the United Kingdom holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 14 Infrastructure: 9 Macroeconomic environment: 108 Health and primary education: 18

Its standout factors: Technological readiness (3) and labor-market efficiency (5)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Access to financing

Source: World Economic Forum


9. Sweden

source
Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

How Sweden holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 11 Infrastructure: 20 Macroeconomic environment: 17 Health and primary education: 20

Its standout factors: Technological readiness (4) and innovation (7)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


8. Finland

source
Reuters/Mark Blinch

How Finland holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 1 Infrastructure: 25 Macroeconomic environment: 36 Health and primary education: 1

Its standout factors: Institutions (1) and health and primary education (1)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Taxes

Source: World Economic Forum


7. Hong Kong

source
Reuters/Tyrone Siu

How Hong Kong holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 8 Infrastructure: 1 Macroeconomic environment: 16 Health and primary education: 29

Its standout factors: Infrastructure (1) and goods-market efficiency (2)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Insufficient capacity to innovate

Source: World Economic Forum


6. Japan

source
Reuters/Yuya Shino

How Japan holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 13 Infrastructure: 5 Macroeconomic environment: 121 Health and primary education: 4

Its standout factors: Business sophistication (2) and market size (4)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Tax rates

Source: World Economic Forum


5. Netherlands

source
Reuters/United Photos/Toussaint Kluiters

How Netherlands holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 10 Infrastructure: 3 Macroeconomic environment: 26 Health and primary education: 6

Its standout factors: Infrastructure (3) and higher education and training (3)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


4. Germany

source
Thomson Reuters

How Germany holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 20 Infrastructure: 7 Macroeconomic environment: 20 Health and primary education: 13

Its standout factors: Business sophistication (3) and market size (5)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Complexity of tax regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


3. United States

source
Getty Images

How the United States holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 28 Infrastructure: 11 Macroeconomic environment: 96 Health and primary education: 46

Its standout factors: Market size (2) and innovation (4)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Tax rates

Source: World Economic Forum


2. Singapore

source
Reuters/Jason Lee

How Singapore holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 2 Infrastructure: 2 Macroeconomic environment: 12 Health and primary education: 2

Its standout factors: Higher education and training (1) and goods-market efficiency (1)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Restrictive labor regulations

Source: World Economic Forum


1. Switzerland

source
Reuters/Aly Song

How Switzerland holds up in basic requirements:Institutions: 7 Infrastructure: 6 Macroeconomic environment: 6 Health and primary education: 11

Its standout factors: Labor-market efficiency (1) and innovation (1)

The most problematic factor for doing business: Inefficient government bureaucracy

Source: World Economic Forum


And now take a look at …

source
Flickr

The 18 most ‘miserable’ countries in the world