The world's most competitive countries at a glance

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Published 2 months ago

Competitiveness is a crucial factor to take into account if you're looking for new career or business prospects abroad. The latest Global Competitiveness Report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of every country around the world. As expected, the USA, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark make it in the top ten. Have a look at the world's most competitive countries in 2018.


New York

The USA, the leading global economic powerhouse is also the world's most competitive country with a score of 85.6 out of 100. An attractive destination for work or starting a business, the USA stands out in the fields of entrepreneurship, labour market and finance. The dynamic startup environment holds a range of opportunities in various areas, especially in cities like San Francisco and New York which are innovation hubs. Regardless of their size, companies benefit from not only a stable economy but also access to global markets. The USA can also rely on the efficiency of institutions that contribute to providing quality of life and a high standard of living. On the other hand, only 76% of Americans use the Internet on a regular basis even though the USA has a widely developed telecommunications network.



World famous for its quality of life and high standard of living, Singapore is the second most competitive country in the world. The City State can boast of a stable and prosperous economy with a 2.5% GDP growth rate. Thanks to its geographic location, Singapore enjoys international market openness. As a major trade hub, the country has a modern infrastructure and offers excellent connectivity thanks to a developed and efficient transportation network. The expansion of the services sector contributes to its score in the product market subcategory. Singapore also ranks first regarding trade openness. Considering the size of the country, the weight of import is impressive. However, Singapore still has a long way to go regarding dynamism and skills compared to other Asian countries like Japan even though innovation is highly valued. Besides, Singapore has a world-class healthcare system – which probably explains the healthy life expectancy of 74 years.



Ranking first in Europe and third globally, Germany shows much improvement since last year. Germany is an innovation hub with a conducive business climate. The country performs well regarding research and patent delivery. Home to some of the world's most prestigious research institutions, Germany ranks fourth in this subcategory and fifth regarding sophisticated market demands. To meet the needs of consumers, companies, therefore, have to make sure that they stay innovative, so it might be the ideal place to launch your startup in. Besides a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic stability, Germany also provides access to international markets. The local workforce is highly qualified and skilled – which is good news for potential entrepreneurs. However, Germany only ranks 31th regarding the use of the Internet on a regular basis in spite of its excellent telecommunications network including optical fibre.



Coming at the fourth spot globally, Switzerland stands out in various fields. It ranks third for innovation after Germany and the USA. Home to large multinational companies, Switzerland also has a dense network of quality and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – which also means that jobs are plentiful. Switzerland can also rely on its many prestigious research institutions that contribute to the development of new commercial applications with businesses. The dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem benefits from factors such as its stable and sophisticated financial system, excellent connectivity thanks to a developed transportation network and world-class physical infrastructure, and a highly qualified and skilled workforce. It's worth noting that the workforce in Switzerland is flexible and has good industrial relations.



Climbing up three places to the 5th spot, Japan shows the most significant improvements compared to last year. The country stands out for its healthcare system, physical infrastructure and digitally. Today, more than 93% of the population uses the Internet on a regular basis. Moreover, the penetration rate of optical fibre at home (23 out of 100 inhabitants) is quite surprising for such a vast country. As an innovation hub, with internationally renowned brands and an extensive SMEs network, Japan is one of the world's most attractive countries for work or setting up a business. Even though there's room for improvement, Japan has a qualified and skilled workforce added to excellent connectivity. The developed transportation network, including air, sea and land routes, contribute to international trade.



Adding to the list of the most competitive countries in Europe, the Netherlands ranks 6th globally thanks to the efficiency of its institutions regarding judicial independence, government openness and freedom of the press in particular. Valuing ethics and the protection of property rights, the Netherlands is also one of the world's most transparent countries. Its economic stability and dynamism, and a conducive business environment promoting innovation and the entrepreneurial culture make it a great place to set up a business in. Large companies and mushrooming startups contribute not only to economic prosperity but also to the creation of jobs. By moving to the Netherlands, you will also benefit from excellent connectivity with massive air, land and sea networks and openness to highly competitive markets. The Netherlands is also home to some of the world's most prestigious schools and universities that provide quality education and cater to the needs of the local labour market.