Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Report on Business

Economy Lab

Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
Best Business Blog, EPPY awards, 2011 and 2012

Entry archive:

Economy Lab has moved

Only Globe Unlimited members will now have access to a wide range of insightful commentary
and analysis on the economy and markets previously offered on this page.


Globe Unlimited subscribers will be able to read these columns,
written by some of Canada’s most deeply respected economists,
such as Christopher Ragan, Sheryl King, Andrew Jackson, and Clement Gignac,
as part of our ROB INSIGHT section.


All of our readers will still be able to browse the Economy Lab archives and read our
broader coverage of economic data and news by accessing their 10 free articles a month.


Learn more about Globe Unlimited and how to subscribe.

Canada fares well in education, efficient financial and labour markets, and its strong institutions. But several factors keep it out of the top 10, among them innovation and business sophistication, where Canada has tumbled to 25th in the rankings. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Canada fares well in education, efficient financial and labour markets, and its strong institutions. But several factors keep it out of the top 10, among them innovation and business sophistication, where Canada has tumbled to 25th in the rankings. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

When it comes to competitiveness, Canada can’t compete Add to ...

Switzerland and Singapore top the list of most competitive countries in the world in a global ranking that puts Canada in a distant 14th position.

Finland, Germany and the United States round out the top five of this year's most competitive nations on the World Economic Forum’s annual list, released Wednesday in Geneva. Canada’s ranking was the same as last year. Back in 2009, Canada sat in ninth position.

More Related to this Story

Canada fares well in education, efficient financial and labour markets, and its strong institutions. But several factors keep it out of the top 10, among them innovation and business sophistication, where Canada has tumbled to 25th in the rankings.

“Overall, Canada’s competitive position has stagnated. A closer look at the results shows that we are getting worse on several factors that do not bode well for our economic and social well-being,” said Michael Bloom, vice-president of organizational effectiveness and learning at the Conference Board of Canada, which carried out the Canadian analysis for the global report.

This is the fifth year in a row that Switzerland has topped the rankings. Germany moved up two notches while the U.S. reversed a four-year decline. Hong Kong, Japan, Qatar and Taiwan also climbed up the rankings.

So what does it take to land on top? Innovative countries and strong institutions, the WEF said in its release. Innovation has become “even more critical in terms of an economy’s ability to foster future prosperity,” said Klaus Schwab, the forum’s executive chairman.

In the future, “the traditional distinction between countries being ‘developed’ or ‘less developed’ will gradually disappear and we will instead refer to them much more in terms of being ‘innovation rich’ vs. ‘innovation poor’ countries,” he added, noting that there is a growing importance of business, government and civil society working together to boost innovation.

The rankings were introduced in 2004, with competitiveness measures calculated based on 12 factors including infrastructure, higher education, labour market efficiency, market size and innovation.

The most challenging areas for doing business in Canada both relate to innovation: Access to financing and insufficient capacity to innovate. This country could boost its competitiveness by focusing on innovation – encouraging more spending on research and development, supporting governments’ use of Canadian advanced technology, and boosting collaboration between universities and industry on R&D, the Conference Board said.

Follow on Twitter: @taviagrant

 

Global competitiveness rankings

Country/Economy GCI 2013-2014 Rank Score GCI 2012-2013 Rank Change
Switzerland 1 5.67 1 0
Singapore 2 5.61 2 0
Finland 3 5.54 3 0
Germany 4 5.51 6 2
United States 5 5.48 7 2
Sweden 6 5.48 4 -2
Hong Kong SAR 7 5.47 9 2
Netherlands 8 5.42 5 -3
Japan 9 5.40 10 1
United Kingdom 10 5.37 8 -2
Norway 11 5.33 15 4
Taiwan, China 12 5.29 13 1
Qatar 13 5.24 11 -2
Canada 14 5.20 14 0
Denmark 15 5.18 12 -3
Austria 16 5.15 16 0
Belgium 17 5.13 17 0
New Zealand 18 5.11 23 5
United Arab Emirates 19 5.11 24 5
Saudi Arabia 20 5.10 18 -2
Australia 21 5.09 20 -1
Luxembourg 22 5.09 22 0
France 23 5.05 21 -2
Malaysia 24 5.03 25 1
Korea, Rep. 25 5.01 19 -6

Source: World Economic Forum

Print

Download table as a CSV file

More Related to this Story

Topics:

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories