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[Video] Ranking List - Top 20 Countries: IMD 2011 World Competitiveness Rankings, Efficiency Gap Between Government and Business

[Video] Ranking List - Top 20 Countries: IMD 2011 World Competitiveness Rankings, Efficiency Gap Between Government and Business

A leading business school in Switzerland has released the results of its research in its “World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011”, which places Hong Kong at the top of government efficiency rankings, followed by Singapore and Switzerland. The metric seeks to quantify the “extent to which government policies are conducive to competitiveness” within a country.

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Explaining the results of the rankings, IMD Professor Stéphane Garelli, Director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, said, “‘World Competitiveness 2.0’ is thus characterised by a greater self-reliance of countries. It increasingly emphasizes re-industrialization, exports, and a more critical look at delocalization. This trend is triggered by the rise in commodity and transport prices and higher labor costs in emerging economies.”

The report also demonstrates the discrepancies between the public and private sector in terms of efficiency, in which the Japanese government is revealed to lag far behind its private sector: the government’s efficiency rank is a full 23 points below its business rank.

Other countries in need of improvement within the Asia-Pacific region are India, China, Philippines and Taiwan, where the business ranking is at least 6 points higher than the government ranking. According to Garelli, a key issue is the lag between government reforms and economic imperatives.

“Government spending has reached new highs since the recession: on average 47% of the GDPs in the most advanced economies. 12 European countries are already above the 50% threshold. The 23 biggest spenders are all European governments. How long can it last? In a new world of ‘state capitalism’, government efficiency will become a key determinant to competitiveness,” Professor Garelli said.

The overall competitiveness rank (an aggregate of business and government efficiency) was dominated by Hong Kong and the USA, which toppled Singapore – last year’s leader – to share first place in the table. While the government efficiency of the USA lagged far behind that of Hong Kong and Singapore, its overall rank was helped greatly by its private sector.


IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, today announced the findings of its annual World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), which places Canada in seventh place, retaining its position from last year. Neighboring USA, along with Hong Kong, were on the top of list as the most competitive countries, both slightly ahead of last year's winner, Singapore.

Published since 1989, WCY ranks and analyzes how an economy manages the totality of its resources and competencies to increase the prosperity of its population.

IMD's WCY indicates that Canada's top key attractiveness indicators include the country's stable policy, skilled workforce, reliable infrastructure and high educational levels. Canada's competitive strengths lie in its high level of resilience, efficient financial system and dynamic business culture. The country also ranks first for its 'Image Abroad.' In terms of weaknesses, there are concerns about relocation threats and vulnerability to commodity-dependency.


THE TOP 20 (OUT OF 59)
Score 2011 Country Rank 2010 Rank 2011 Score 2011 Country Rank 2010 Rank 2011
100.0 Hong Kong 2 1 86.5 Luxembourg 11 11
100.0 USA 3 1 86.4 Denmark 13 12
98.6 Singapore 1 3 86.3 Norway 9 13
94.1 Sweden 6 4 85.7 Netherlands 12 14
92.6 Switzerland 4 5 84.4 Finland 19 15
92.0 Taiwan 8 6 84.1 Malaysia 10 16
90.8 Canada 7 7 81.6 Israel 17 17
90.2 Qatar 15 8 81.6 Austria 14 18
89.3 Australia 5 9 81.1 China 18 19
87.8 Germany 16 10 80.3 UK 22 20
(NB. The scores are actually indices (0 to 100) generated for the unique purpose of constructing charts and graphics.)

Additional 2011 WCY findings:

  • Sweden jumps to fourth place from sixth, highlighting the competitiveness of the Nordic model
  • Germany shines and gains six ranks to tenth position thanks to increased exports and a more flexible labor market
  • Qatar, Korea and Turkey continue their ascent in competitiveness

IMD also released its first Government Efficiency Gap results, which compares a country's government and business efficiency to determine whether countries have "the government they deserve."

According to the findings, there is little gap between government and business efficiency in Canada, showing that the two reinforce one another and are well synchronized. On the contrary, overall competitiveness in the US was 'rescued' by its business efficiency.

"In the overall ranking, as well as in business and government efficiency, Canada ranks in the top 10. In terms of competitiveness potential, Canada has a good balance with a government that supports business, and a dynamic business sector that has a 'pull effect' on the country's competitiveness," said Suzanne Rosselet, IMD World Competitiveness Center Deputy Director. "In the future we believe the efficiency of government will be increasingly important in sustaining competitive gains."


(Partial list, selected from the 59 WCY countries)

Country Government Efficiency Business Efficiency Difference
Brazil 55 29 -26
Japan 50 27 -23
Belgium 39 23 -16
USA 19 10 -9
China 33 25 -8
Germany 24 16 -8
Italy 51 48 -3
Canada 9 8 -1
Sweden 5 4 -1
Australia 7 7 -
Mexico 43 43 -
UK 26 28 2
France 44 47 3
South Africa 32 40 8
Switzerland 3 11 8
New Zealand 8 24 16

The table above shows countries' rankings for Government Efficiency and Business Efficiency (two competitiveness factors drawn from the WCY 2011) and the gap between the two. All rankings are across 59 economies, in descending order from best (1st) to worst (59th).


About IMD

Based in Switzerland, IMD is consistently top-ranked among business schools worldwide. With more than 60 years' experience, IMD takes a real world, real learning approach to executive education. IMD offers pioneering and collaborative solutions to address clients' challenges. Our perspective is international - we understand the complexity of the global environment. Real-impact executive learning and leadership development at IMD enables participants to learn more, deliver more and be more. (



Structure of the WCY

The criteria used to compute the rankings are grouped into 4 main factors divided into 20 sub-factors.

Competitiveness factors and criteria

Detailed criteria lists are available for download.

Economic performance
  • Domestic economy
  • International trade
  • International investment
  • Employment
  • Prices

Download criteria details (PDF, 32kB)

Government efficiency
  • Public finance
  • Fiscal policy
  • Institutional framework
  • Business legislation
  • Societal framework

Download criteria details (PDF, 29 kB)

Business efficiency
  • Productivity
  • Labor market
  • Finance
  • Management practices
  • Attitudes and values

Download criteria details (PDF, 28 kB)

  • Basic infrastructure
  • Technological infrastructure
  • Scientific infrastructure
  • Health and environment
  • Education

Download criteria details (PDF, 32 kB)

Download all criteria list
A complete list of all criteria details can be found here:
Download list of all WCY criteria (79 kB)

Download sample criteria
A detailed example of a competitiveness criteria can be found here:
Download sample WCY criteria (PDF 27 kB)

Download factor breakdown
An overview of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook structure can be found here:
Download factor breakdown (PDF, 49 kB)





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