What does global competition index mean

The pillars of competitiveness: Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018

The World Economic Forum (WEF) supplemented the Global Competitiveness Report with an Index (GCI) 2005. Since then, the WEF has published a comprehensive report and a country ranking on competitiveness every year. The term “competitiveness” is defined as “the entirety of institutions, political measures and factors that determine a country's productivity level”.

In the 2017-2018 report, Switzerland took first place in the ranking of all countries for the ninth time in a row.

The pillars of competitiveness

Switzerland is in first place in the ranking of all countries. The USA, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, Great Britain, Japan and Finland follow in places 2 to 10. The ranking per country is determined by collecting national data in twelve categories, which the WEF defines and uses as pillars of competitiveness:

  • Institutions
  • Infrastructure
  • Macroeconomic environment
  • Health and schooling
  • Higher education and training
  • Efficiency of goods markets
  • Labor market efficiency
  • Degree of development of the financial markets
  • Technological level of development
  • Market size
  • Degree of development of the company
  • innovation

Each main category is in turn broken down into numerous sub-categories in order to be able to determine the competitiveness as precisely as possible on the basis of a wide variety of criteria. If you can and want to take your time: The report goes into great detail on around 380 pages on the methodology of the survey, the importance of the assessment bases and the ranking of the individual countries.

Pros and cons and confusion

The ranking of Switzerland is gratifying, but it is regularly "crossed" by other studies that set other priorities and then do not consistently assign Switzerland a top position. However, the different focal points and measurement methods cannot be directly compared. The latter, i.e. the measurement method used in the WEF study, is currently under discussion.

A well-read article on the topic in the online edition of the Aargauer Zeitung (“How to explain Switzerland's high level of competitiveness”). Several economics professors are investigating whether and how Switzerland's high level of competitiveness can be explained. In particular, they examine the study system and measurement method, which in their opinion could lead to distortions, and examine the evaluation criteria.

The details about Switzerland are clearly summarized in the WEF Report 2017-2018 on pages 278 and 279 of the report.

Detailed information and downloads

The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 puts numerous influencing factors in relation and thus creates contexts and suggestions for consideration that are worth reading. The report weighs around 380 pages - if you like it faster and easier, you will also find links with summaries here:

To the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 (PDF)

Ranking list (PDF - ranking list at a glance)

Report (overview of key facts)

"Heatmap" (interactive country overview)

The World Economic Forum 2018 will take place again from January 23 to 26 in Davos-Klosters.


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