Ireland moves up to 15th in competitiveness
IRELAND has moved two notches up the global competitiveness rankings and holds a better ranking than some major European countries.
The USA and Switzerland topped the list, but Singapore knocked Hong Kong off the third place slot, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook compiled by the Swiss business school IMD.
Ireland ranked 15th, up from 17th place last year, and the 24th position recorded in 2011, but we're still behind the 10th spot we had in 1997.
Anne-France Borgeaud, senior economist and head of WCC operations, told the Irish Independent that the perception of this country is much more positive than during last year.
"Despite no growth in 2013 and a high unemployment rate, Ireland has moved up the ladder of competitiveness," she said. "In the domestic economy and employment, you are not doing so well compared to the other most competitive nations, but you move up in all other sub factors. It is positive at all levels."
Ireland is fractionally better than the UK, which is ranked in 16th place, an improvement from last year's 18th place.
Germany is in sixth place – up from ninth, France is in 27th spot, a one notch improvement, Austria is 22nd, Italy is in 46th place, down two, and Spain is in 39th place, up six.
At the bottom of the 60-country IMD ranking was Venezuela, below Argentina and Croatia.
Ireland's tax regime was ranked as the top attraction to Ireland, followed by the business friendly environment and the skilled workforce and the educational level. The competency of the government was near the bottom of the list.
The US retains top spot, reflecting the resilience of its economy and its dominance in technology and infrastructure.
"The overall competitiveness story for 2014 is one of continued success in the US, partial recovery in Europe, and struggles for some large emerging markets," said Professor Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.