We’re No. 1.
Whether it was actually the case or not, at least it seemed as though those of us blessed to live in the United States used to point with national pride at the top ranking of our country in any number of categories. While the U.S. remains atop many rankings — some good, some bad — it feels all too often as though the country has lost some of its edge.
There’s good news, though, in the latest results of an annual ranking of competitiveness among 61 economies in the world. That’s right. The United States remains No. 1.
IMD, a global business school with operations in Switzerland and Singapore, calculates its world competitiveness ranking based on how well countries manage their resources and competencies to create value over the long-term. The overall ranking takes into account more than 300 criteria. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook is scheduled for publication at the end of June.
The United States remained No. 1 in the 2015 ranking, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Canada. Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Germany rounded out the top 10.
Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitive Center, stated in a news release a general analysis of the latest ranking shows the top countries are “going back to the basics.”
“Productivity and efficiency are in the driver’s seat of the competitiveness wagon,” Bris stated. “Companies in those countries are increasing their efforts to minimize their environmental impact and provide a strong organizational structure for work forces to thrive.”
The U.S. enjoys a strong business efficiency and financial sector along with a drive for innovation and an effective infrastructure, the report notes.
Business efficiency — the extent to which countries encourage enterprises to perform in innovative, profitable and responsible manners — is a common denominator among the most competitive countries. Nine out of the top 10 countries also are listed among the top 10 for business efficiency. Business efficiency also was cited in the large gains Luxembourg, Qatar and Greece enjoyed in the latest rankings.
Bris said business efficiency can be assessed through indicators related to productivity, including those involving labor markets, finance and management practices. Business efficiency requires greater productivity, he said, but also the ability to remain profitable over time.
Although the news release doesn’t state it in so many words, a number of tenets undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing competitiveness of the United States — among them private property ownership and intellectual property rights, the rule of law and the remarkable freedoms we enjoy in this country to pursue entrepreneurial dreams. Not counting an increasingly zealous regulatory environment, the U.S. for the most part offers an environment that nurtures innovation.
It’s reassuring, nonetheless, too see a ranking of the most competitive countries in the world continues to reflect what we believe: This country remains a pretty darned good place in which to do business.
In fact, we’re No. 1.