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Sweden is among the most competitive nations in the world as economically stability maintains strong and the levels of technological innovation is high, the World Economic Forum said.

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As the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia fell in the world's competitive ranking, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability, Sweden managed to keep its 4th position, followed by Finland and Denmark.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, which was released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum ahead of its annual meeting in Dalian, pointed out that the Nordic countries lead the rankings in a number of individual areas.

“Notably, amid the economic and financial crisis, all three countries’ financial markets continue to receive high scores” the WEF wrote.

“They are all ranked among the top 15 countries with regard to macroeconomic stability, all running healthy budget surpluses through 2008, with low levels of public indebtedness, high national savings, and narrow interest rate spreads”.

The three countries also have among the best functioning and most transparent institutions in the world.

The WEF also highlighted the Nordic countries’ strong focus on education over recent decades.

“This has provided the workforce with the skills needed to adapt rapidly to a changing environment and has laid the ground for their high levels of technological adoption and innovation, which is crucial for countries at their advanced stage of economic development”.

However, the organisation said that Sweden and Finland hav rather inflexible labor markets while Denmark has one of the most flexible and efficient labor markets internationally.

“In Finland and Sweden, however—as in a number of other European countries—companies have less flexibility in setting wages, and firing and therefore hiring workers is deemed expensive, although cooperation in labor-employer relations is good in all three countries”, the reports pointed out.

Switzerland tops the overall ranking while the United States fell one place to second position. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets.

China continued to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one place this year, solidifying its position among the top 30.

"The strong interdependence among the world’s economies makes this a truly global economic crisis in every sense”, said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “In a difficult global economic environment, it is more important than ever for countries to put into place strong fundamentals underpinning economic growth and development”.

 


[Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, World Economic Forum]

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 08 September 2009 10:33)

 

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