Switzerland named the 2nd most competitive nation on Earth by IMD

Switzerland named the 2nd most competitive nation on Earth by IMD

Switzerland has been rated the second most competitive country on Earth in the latest ranking by the IMD Business School in Lausanne. The country returned to the top two thanks to a big improvement in its economic score.

World Competitiveness Ranking by IMD

Created by the IMD every year, the World Competitiveness Ranking seeks to show which countries around the world have the most dynamic economies. Alongside the standard GDP and productivity statistics, the report also looks at how government, society and culture boost the economic performance of certain countries.

For the 2024 report, a total of 67 countries around the world were analysed by the IMD through 164 different criteria. Ratings in each criterion were then used to rank each country in the four major categories:

  • Economic performance: GDP, international trade, investment, rate of unemployment, prices.
  • Government efficiency: State of the public finances, taxes, government regulations and laws.
  • Business efficiency: Productivity, finances, “attitudes and values”, labour market quality.
  • Infrastructure: Roads, rail, internet, tech and scientific infrastructure, healthcare and environment and education.

Speaking to Watson, IMD director Arturo Bris said that the most competitive nations on Earth are the ones that can adapt to a changing world, while still creating benefits and opportunities for residents. The main challenges for 2024 were predicted to be the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs and the economy, and how each country will adapt, respond and act to stop the changing climate.

Singapore and Switzerland are the world's two most competitive economies

This year, Singapore reclaimed its position as the most competitive nation on Earth. It was able to do this using strong scores across all categories, with recent boosts in the government and business efficiency and infrastructure categories.

After coming second in 2022 before dropping to third in 2023, Switzerland has risen in the ranking again to place second in 2024. The alpine nation was rated best in the world for government efficiency and infrastructure, largely thanks to high public finance, education and health scores.

Economic performance, the country’s worst category, has improved compared to last year having gone from 18th in the world to 12th. Switzerland’s worst individual score perhaps unsurprisingly was for “prices”, placing 7th worst in the world.  

Where can the Swiss economy improve?

Despite the high praise and score, the IMD did note some areas where Switzerland can improve. These included making decarbonisation and green energy policies a success, expanding places where Swiss businesses may trade freely, boosting innovation and making it easier to start a business and become an entrepreneur.

Finally, they argued that the country needs to make it easier for skilled workers to fill jobs that are in most demand in Switzerland, such as by fully tapping into the potential of current residents and making it easier to move from abroad. They advised Switzerland to “ensure sustainable financing of the pension system and optimise the tax system.”

10 most competitive countries in the world

In all, here are the 10 most competitive countries on Earth, according to the IMD:

  1. Singapore
  2. Switzerland 
  3. Denmark
  4. Ireland
  5. Hong Kong SAR
  6. Sweden
  7. United Arab Emirates
  8. Taiwan 
  9. The Netherlands
  10. Norway

For more information about the study, check out the IMD website.

Thumb image credit: Keitma /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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