Hong Kong No.1 in competitiveness replacing US, Singapore one step down to 4th

There was a major shuffle in European ranking while Asia generally saw major economies declining except India and Thailand.

The prestigious world competitiveness centre ranking by the International Management Development for 2016 has been announced and now China Hong Kong is numero uno pushing the US down to the third position behind Switzerland.

Hong Kong was at the second position last year and Switzerland was No 4. Both of them have improved their ranks by one and two notches respectively while Singapore has slipped by one step to the fourth position this time.

Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, 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 USA 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."

Mainland China has however, dropped by three steps to No 25 while India was up 3 notches to 41st rank. Other major Asian markets such as Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia all dropped to lower ranks in 2016.

Thailand is another major economy from the region to improve the position along with India. It has risen to no 28 from 30th rank last year.

"Nations as different as China Mainland and Qatar fare very well in terms of economic performance, but they remain weak in other pillars such as government efficiency and infrastructure," IMD's Bris said.

Qatar is in the thirteenth position.

Another interesting development was in the ranks from 5 to 12. Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Netherlands came in 5,6,7 and 8 ranks rising by 4,2,9 and 7 notches.

At the same time, Norway, Canada, Luxembourg and Germany in positions from 9-12 are down by 2,5,5 and 2 steps from their 2015 ranks.