Estonia drops four places in the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings

Estonia has in 2019 dropped four places in the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings and is now ranked 35th.

IMD, an independent business school, based in Switzerland and Singapore, ranks Estonia 35th in this year’s index. The index doesn’t specify what caused Estonia’s drop, but it says that “competitiveness across Europe has struggled to gain ground with most economies on the decline or standing still”.

“The Nordics, traditionally a powerhouse region for competitiveness, have failed to make significant progress this year, while ongoing uncertainty over Brexit has seen the United Kingdom fall from 20th to 23rd,” the index says.

“The biggest climber for the region, Ireland, rose five places to seventh as business conditions improved alongside a strengthening economy. According to the data, Ireland leads the way globally for investment incentives, the handling of public sector contracts and areas such as image, branding and talent management. Portugal posted the biggest fall in the region, down six places to 39th – a reversal from gains made in the previous year.”

Singapore the most competitive economy

The most competitive economy in the world is Singapore, for the first time since 2010. “Singapore’s rise to the top was driven by its advanced technological infrastructure, the availability of skilled labour, favourable immigration laws and efficient ways to set up new businesses. Hong Kong SAR held on to second place, helped by a benign tax and business policy environment and access to business finance.”

Lithuania is doing slightly better than Estonia in this year’s index, having ranked 29th. Latvia is ranked 40th. Russia is ranked 45th. Estonia’s northern neighbour, Finland, comes 15th.

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies. The ranking takes into account a wide range of “hard” statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as “soft” data from an Executive Opinion Survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalisation and corruption.

Cover: The 1-euro coins in Estonian flag colours (Shutterstock).