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Finland overtakes US to become world's most competitive economy

Finland's economy is the most competitive in the world, according to the latest global competitiveness report published by the World Economics Forum. The 2003 report ranks 102 countries, which collectively account for 97.8 per cent of world GDP, in two separate categories. Th...

Finland's economy is the most competitive in the world, according to the latest global competitiveness report published by the World Economics Forum. The 2003 report ranks 102 countries, which collectively account for 97.8 per cent of world GDP, in two separate categories. The 'growth competitiveness index' assesses a country's potential to attain sustained economic growth over the medium and long term, while the 'business competitiveness index' analyses the sophistication with which companies in a given country compete, and the quality of the business environment in which they operate. Finland topped both indexes to emerge as the world's most competitive country economy. In the growth index alone, six of the top ten countries were from Europe: three EU Member States and three countries from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In the business index, only Singapore and the United States prevented a clean sweep of the top ten by European nations. The assessment of business competitiveness in particular will be a source of concern for a number of advanced nations. Austria and the UK slipped several places compared with 2002, and while Germany only fell one place in the rankings, the report concludes that 'the quality of [Germany's] business environment dropped precariously'. The global competitiveness report is based on the contribution of leading business executives and entrepreneurs in each country, and is carried out by the World Economics Forum in collaboration with 104 partner institutes around the globe, typically national research or academic institutes.