India feel further by one notch, from its 29th to 30th position in overall competitiveness according to a new report released by leading Switzerland-based business school, IMD, yesterday.
Of the 57 economies ranked by IMD, the US still ranked No 1 in 2009, while Hong Kong switched places with Singapore to rank the second, swiftly ''closing the gap'' with the US. Switzerland maintained its 4th rank from last year.
According to the Swiss business school's report, all of the Nordic economies have increased or maintained their rankings compared to the US, with Denmark improving one rank to 5th position, Sweden moving up 3 places to 6th, and Finland, making a huge leap from 15th place last year to 9th place. Norway maintained its 11th position.
In a free-fall economy, competitiveness is also about how countries can resist adversity and show resilience to weather the storm, the school said.
Japan comes out better than expected at 17th position, likewise Germany (13th) and the UK (21st).
However, IMD said, ''One must take into account that these rankings are based on a majority of statistics from 2008, especially the growth period of early 2008, and countries entered the economic crisis at different times.''
The most spectacular movements are seen for Indonesia, rising from 51st place to 42nd and Estonia, falling 12 ranks to 35th place. Some countries suffered important reversals - Colombia (51st), Greece (52nd) and Taiwan (23rd) fell 10 places each, followed by Romania (from 45th to 54th).
Other important declines include, Luxembourg (from 5th to 12th), Hungary (from 38th to 45th), Spain (from 33rd to 39th) and Ireland (from 12th to 19th)
For Ireland, it was a great climb down from its 5th position in 2000.
India fell by one point to 30th position from 29th position last year.
IMD said that its definition of competitiveness is, ''How nations and businesses are managing the totality of their competencies to achieve greater prosperity.''
''Competitiveness is not just about growth or economic performance but should take into consideration the 'soft factors' of competitiveness, such as the environment, quality of life, technology, knowledge, etc'' it added.
This helps explain why some countries, the US, Japan, the UK, Nordic economies and small, open economies like Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland are able to maintain their rankings in the top league despite short-term disruptions. Too much focus on short-termism helped trigger the crisis, the report said.