IMD said the sheer power of the American economy is no longer sufficient to keep it at the top of the prestigious World Competitiveness Ranking, which it has led for the past three years.
The 2016 edition ranks China/ Hong Kong first, Switzerland second and the US third, with Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada completing the top 10.
Professor Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, said a consistent commitment to a favourable business environment was central to China/ Hong Kong’s rise and that Switzerland’s small size and its emphasis on a commitment to quality have allowed it to react quickly to keep its economy on top.
“The US still boasts the best economic performance in the world, but there are many other factors that we take into account when assessing competitiveness,” he said.
“The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions.”