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U.S. Must Become More Competitive to be Most Competitive

 The United States drops to third in a world ranking based on business competitiveness. 

| BY Kent McDill

Competition makes the world go around, and competition is a driving force all around the world. So much so that the United States no longer has the most competitive business climate in the world.

The International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland conducts its World Competitiveness Center ranking of all the countries in the world based on global business competitiveness, and has been doing so since 1989. The IMD looks at raw data related to business growth and development, but also conducts in-depth surveys with more than 5,400 business executives, asking them to asset the situation in their own countries.

With more than 340 criteria used to determine the rankings, the most competitive country in the world is now Hong Kong.

The IMD cites Hong Kong’s role as the door that leads to the growing economic force that is the Asian nations bordering the Pacific Ocean.

“Hong Kong has an amazing regulatory system,’’ said IMD World Competitiveness Center director Arturo Bris in an interview with Forbes. “Business-friendly, promoting competition, and at the same time investing in public education. It has built an amazing public sector, which of course is easy to do in a small economy, but Hong Kong is extremely efficient.”

Switzerland also jumped ahead of the U.S. in the 2016 rankings due to an increase in exports and a growing GDP. The U.S. takes third after being on top the three previous years.

The remainder of the top 10 gives rise to the idea that the Scandinavian/Nordic nations have developed and promoted competition well. Included in the top 10 are Sweden (No. 5), Denmark (No. 6), Netherlands (No. 8) and Norway (No. 9). Finland makes the list at No. 20.

The remainder of the top 10 includes No. 4 Singapore, No. 7 Ireland and No. 10 Canada. Ireland has become a favored base of U.S. firms trying to avoid their nation’s corporate tax structure by relocating to a foreign land.

The second 10 includes a central European countries (Luxembourg at No. 11, Germany at No. 12 and the United Kingdom at No. 18) as well as the first land-based Arab countries (Qatar at No. 13 and United Arab Emirates at No. 15). Also, New Zealand (No. 160 and Australia (No. 17) represent the far southern hemisphere.

Taiwan is at No. 14 and Malaysia is at No. 19.

The IMD noted a significant climb in several Eastern European countries which have specialized in the Information Technology sector. Latvia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Hungary are now in the top 50, in part thanks to favorable tax laws that lower or eliminate income tax for IT professionals.

For further information on the methodology related to the World Competitiveness rankings, click here.

About the Author

Kent McDill


Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.