Estonia has climbed to 33rd from 35th in the fresh Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum. Lithuania rose six places to 47th, whereas Latvia dropped two places to 70th.
The scoreboard was once again topped by Switzerland, followed by Sweden, Singapore and the United States. Germany rounded out the top five, next came Japan and Finland. Compared with last year, some of the top ten have changed places but there are no dropouts or newcomers among them. Russia stayed in 63rd place.
In the rankings for 2009-2010, Estonia fell from 32nd to 35th. Lithuania placed 53rd and Latvia 68th, down respectively by nine and 14 places.
Estonia again leads new member states of the European Union in terms of competitiveness, the Estonian Development Fund said in its news release. "This has happened above all thanks to the improvement in base factors of competitiveness such as macroeconomic stability but at the cost of dropping out from among innovation-driven economies," the fund's monitoring manager Kitty Kubo said.
The fund said Estonia's rise in rankings was mostly due to the measures the government took to improve the budget position, and changes in labour laws also had a positive impact. Dropping out of the group of innovation-driven economies into that of transition economies has reduced the weight of higher value added factors like innovation and business sophistication in the overall score, it said in the release.
"If such developments continue, Estonia will find it very difficult to compete for the new, more knowledge-intensive foreign investments necessary for restructuring the economy. We are competing for investments, markets and labour above all with other Central and East European countries, and here both Poland, which has shown strong growth in the WEF report for several years already, as well as Lithuania, which has significantly improved its position, are hard on our heels," the Development Fund's economic expert Heido Vitsur said.
WEF's 31st Global Competitiveness Report reflecting countries' economic situation in a world emerging from the economic crisis covers 139 countries of the world. The Development Fund is WEF's official partner in Estonia.
Estonia Rises Two Notches in Global Competitiveness Rankings