China at 25 was the highest ranked BRICS country in the 2016 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, even though it slipped from 22 in 2015 followed by India, which improved to 41 from 44, Russia 44 from 45, South Africa 52 from 53 and Brazil 57 from 56 out of 61 countries surveyed.
The IMD Business School in Lausanne Switzerland has been ranking countries’ competitiveness since 1989. China, Hong Kong was the top performer in 2016, displacing the US, which had been at the top for three years, while Venezuela remained the worst.
The IMD measures how well countries manage all their resources and competencies to facilitate long-term value creation. The overall ranking reflects more than 340 criteria, approximately two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of more than 5 400 international executives.
The four principal factors are economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. The 2016 rankings show that 28 countries improved their standing relative to 2015, 23 slipped, while ten remained the same.
Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said a consistent commitment to a favourable business environment was central to China Hong Kong’s rise and that Switzerland’s small size and its emphasis on a commitment to quality have allowed it to react quickly to keep its economy second.
“The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions,” he said.
A leading banking and financial center, China Hong Kong encourages innovation through low and simple taxation and imposes no restrictions on capital flows into or out of the territory. It also offers a gateway for foreign direct investment in China Mainland, the world’s newest economic superpower, and enables businesses there to access global capital markets.