The 20th Annual World Competitiveness Yearbook (2008)

The 20th Annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, published by IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland on 15th May 2008

Key points –
1. US still no.1 (for 15th year) but suggested may fall next year to Singapore
2. Asia Pacific recorded biggest gain and China spurred growth (GDP +11.9%) helped
a. maintain Singapore at No 2 and Hong Kong No 3
b. advanced Taiwan to No 13 (from 18), Malaysia to No 19 (from 23), Thailand to No 27 (from 33) and Philippines to No 40 (from 45)
c. Vietnam and Kazakhstan expected to join the rakings soon
* "Growing investment and trade among Asian nations is creating a very strong level of confidence in the region"
3. European countries fill half of the top-10 positions
4. Strong growth of middle class consumer markets in Asia – "The rapid growth of the middle class in emerging economies—particularly
in China and India—will boost consumption in the coming years, and
this, too, will likely influence their ranking. Roughly 50 million
people in India are considered middle class, and this figure will
probably swell to 580 million by 2030, Garelli says. Since 2000, about
600 million people around the world reached middle-class status,
spending an average of $4 billion annually on brand-name products, new
homes, vacations, and other indulgences"

Criteria –
"IMD produced the rankings using 331 criteria ranging from gross
domestic product growth and unemployment to the number of Internet
users and the price of local cell-phone calls."

Sources –
"Hard data from sources such as the World Bank and U.N. comprised
two-thirds of the inputs; the rest came from nearly 4,000 survey
responses from executives in each country—many of them IMD
alumni—regarding the availability of skilled employees, government
regulation, the availability of venture capital, and other more
qualitative issues."

Read in relation to The seventh annual Global Information Technology Report released on Apr. 9 by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and French management school INSEAD –
1. "{The Middle east] oil-producing countries have woken up to the fact that diversifying
their economies will prove "absolutely critical" in the coming years.
"They have to rely on people and on knowledge-based industries," he
says. Other countries in the region, especially Egypt and Jordan, also
now understand that technological prowess will prove vital to their
global competitiveness."
2. Only Singapore and South Korea ranked in the top-10
3. The report raised concerns that demand for e-skills in India and China is fast outstripping supply

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