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World competitiveness ranking sees upside

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International business school IMD in Switzerland has released its findings in its annual 'World Competitiveness Yearbook'. The most competitive countries among the 59 ranked in the 2012 yearbook are Hong Kong, US and Switzerland. Despite the US recent setbacks, it remains a highly competitive country according to the report. "US competitiveness has a deep impact on the rest of the world because it is uniquely interacting with every economy, advanced or emerging. No other nation can exercise such a strong 'pull effect' on the world. Europe is burdened with austerity and fragmented political leadership and is hardly a credible substitute, while a South-South bloc of emerging markets is still a work in progress. In the end, if the US competes, the world succeeds!" said Professor Stephane Garelli, director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center. Despite a European downturn, three nations remain among the top ten competitive countries including Switzerland, Sweden and Germany, all who have export-oriented manufacturing. Among other surprising rankings are Ireland at 20 and Iceland at 26. Spain, Portugal and Greece however continue to scare investors with none featuring higher than 39 in the rankings. While much faith has been places in emerging BRIC nations, the rankings of China, India and Brazil have all slipped since last year while Russia has only climbed one place. One third of the ranking criteria for the 59 countries that featured in the yearbook was put together by an exclusive IMD survey of more than 4,200 international executives. The WCY rankings aim to measure how well countries are managing their "economic and human resources to increase their prosperity".

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