EU's biggest economies becoming less competitive
By Honor Mahony
Nordic countries have once again been ranked as among the world's most competitive economies, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report published Wednesday (28 September).
Finland comes out on top with Sweden and Denmark falling into third and fourth place behind the US.
Dear EUobserver reader
Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.
Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.
- Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
- All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
- EUobserver archives
EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.
♡ We value your support.
If you already have an account click here to login.
"The Nordic countries share a number of characteristics that make them extremely competitive, such as very healthy macroeconomic environments and public institutions that are highly transparent and efficient", said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist and Director of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Programme.
Finland has been top of the world rankings for four of the past five years.
Estonia, which the WEF says is "by a significant margin the most competitive economy among the 10 countries that joined the EU last year" is ranked 20 while other important movers are Poland which moved up nine places to 51st place and Ireland ranked 26 - up four places from last year.
Big EU countries slip downwards
For other European countries however, the news is bleaker. Many of the big European countries have slipped down the rankings.
Neither of Britain or Germany, the EU's two biggest economies feature in the top ten, with the UK ranked at number 13 and Germany moving down two places to 15.
France, meanwhile, moved from 27th place down to 30th place, while Spain and Belgium moved down six places to 29th and 31st ranking respectively.
Among the worst performing EU countries are Italy and Greece, the lowest ranking EU countries bar Poland.
Italy is ranked at 47th place while Greece slipped down nine places to 46th place.
According to WEF, Greece's poor performance is "driven by a ballooning budget deficit and increasing pessimism on the part of the business community about the short-term economic outlook".
The survey was carried out across 117 countries worldwide with over 11,000 business people polled for their views.
The top ten places are: Finland, the US, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Australia, while Guyana, the Kyrgyz Republic and Chad are considered among the least competitive countries in the world.