The Netherlands slips on WEF world's most competitive economy list

The Netherlands slips on WEF world's most competitive economy list”

Russian Federation topped the competitive table among Eurasian economies and came second behind China among the BRICS nations.

When asked if President Donald Trump could take credit for the ranking, Thierry Geiger, head of analytics and quantitive research at WEF, stressed that most of the data used in the report was from before Trump came to power past year.

A new World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking for the most competitive and innovative economies ranked Singapore in second place worldwide, just behind the United States.

The US took the top slot with a score of 85.6, buoyed by its capacity for innovation, evident in its high scores in business dynamism and entrepreneurial culture. The 2018 WEF's GCI rankings moved Nigeria up 10 places, having being ranked 125th out of 137 countries raked in 2017.

Among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore remains the most competitive, followed by Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The report aimed to offer each economy a level playing field in which to define and track its growth path, focusing on the need for economies to be holistic in their approach to competitiveness rather than focusing on a particular indicator alone. Market size reached 71 points, ranked 29th, and macroeconomic stability reached 75 points, ranked 64th. Other top economies included Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab cited understanding and openness to new technologies as fundamental to a country's competitiveness. The report stated that Singapore's performance was excellent in the areas of infrastructure and product market, which city-state topped globally.

The organisation's report introduced new indicators to measure cultural factors that feed growth and innovation, such as entrepreneurial culture, embracing disruptive ideas, critical thinking and social trust, factors which were weak across the board, the report's authors warned.

She pointed to the country's low score in terms of participation by women in the labour force, where it ranked 37th, as well as 40th place in terms of press freedom.

Zahidi however stressed that "technology is not a silver bullet on its own" and that "countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology".

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