World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017



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Australia has dropped out of the top 20 most competitive nations, falling to 21 according to the 2017 World Competitiveness survey results. However, it has fared better in a special digital competitiveness ranking coming in at 15.

In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook which ranks and assesses 63 countries, CEDA Research and Policy Committee Chairman Professor Rod Maddock said the last time Australia was this low in the rankings was in 1996 when it also ranked 21.

“Issues that have been on the national agenda such as energy infrastructure, the corporate tax rate and how to skill Australia’s workforce to take advantage of digital disruption, are areas where we performed poorly and show the importance of resolving these issues swiftly,” he said.

Professor Maddock said key areas where we recorded poor economic performance included trade to GDP ratio, and direct investment flows abroad (57). Conversely one of Australia’s economic strengths was the level of investment flows inward (11). 

The rankings are part of the Switzerland based IMD’s 2017 World Competitiveness Yearbook, which compares and ranks 63 countries based on more than 340 business competitiveness criteria. Two-thirds are based on statistical indicators and one third is based on a survey of more than 6000 international executives conducted in February/March this year. CEDA is the Australian partner for the yearbook. 

Overall Hong Kong again ranked first followed by Switzerland and Singapore. The US dropped out of the top three to fourth. 

Australian WCY 2017 results

Read about Australia's competitiveness trends overall, challenges in 2017 and see how Australia ranks on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure in the summary for Australia. 

Read about Australia's digital competitiveness trends including knowledge, technology and future readiness.

International WCY 2017 results

See the 2017 international rankings | See the 2017 digital rankings
Read the media release - World competitiveness ranking released: Australia drops out of top 20
Read IMD media release - New competitive global elite emerges in IMD business school’s latest world competitiveness ranking

See all past rankings

Other recent CEDA research