The UK has leapt three places to become the seventh most competitive country in the world.
Last year, the UK was in the tenth slot, now it is the seventh most competitive economy in the world, but there is a dark cloud.
The word’s most competitive economy, according to the latest Global Competitiveness Index, produced by the World Economic Forum, is Switzerland, which was also in the top slot last year. At number two is Singapore, followed by the US, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and then the UK.
Completing the top ten, in order, are Japan, Hong Kong and Finland. France is in 21st slot, Australia in 22nd. China sits in position 28 and India in 39th slot.
Big climbers over the last year include Austria – with Vienna very much in vogue these days – Poland, India which was in 51st slot last year, and Panama.
The UK’s cloud relates to Brexit. Take immigration.
The report stated: “The United Kingdom is currently still the most attractive EU destination for talent, yet the Brexit vote has created significant uncertainty over the conditions under which workers from EU countries will be able to participate in the UK economy in the future. Moreover, university applications from the European Union could potentially drop amid uncertainty over prospective students’ status and subsequent access to the UK job market.”
So what are the UK’s strengths? For digital readiness, the UK sits as the world’s third most competitive country. Goods and labour markets are highly efficient, (9th and 5th most competitive respectively). While the report said: “business processes are highly sophisticated (7th).”
But what effect might Brexit have? Well, the report warned that “Although the process and the conditions of Brexit are still unknown, it is likely to have a negative impact on the UK’s competitiveness.”
But opportunity comes in the shape of the UK building upon its new independence, by reining in on regulation.
For the UK to turn Brexit to its advantage it needs to learn from the lesson of Switzerland and Singapore, independent trading states, that sit in on the front roll of the grid in the competitive race.