Denmark took the sixth place in the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, an annual list of the world’s most competitive nations for businesses, outcompeting fellow Nordic countries Norway (8th), Sweden (9th) and Finland (16th).
The national confederation for industry, Dansk Industri (DI), a private interest organisation funded, owned and managed by 10,000 companies within the manufacturing, trade and service industries, praised the results.
“It is crucial that Denmark is among the most competitive countries in the world if we want to continue to be among the wealthiest countries in the world. We are a small, open economy, and 775,000 Danish jobs depend on our exports. It is therefore excellent news that we have moved up one spot.” Kent Damsgaard, DI’s deputy director general, said.
But Damsgaard also warned there is still work to be done.
“Although our competitiveness has improved, the development of our exports is definitely nothing to boast about. In other words, we have much work ahead of us in order to successfully lift growth and prosperity in Denmark” he added.
The deputy also noted there was room for improvement in the realm of investment.
“Denmark has many strengths, and yet we fail to properly reap the economic benefits. We are creating jobs, but our productivity growth should be higher. The task is therefore to make Denmark an even more attractive country for businesses to invest in.”
Top five economies
The top five most competitive economies in the world remain the same as in the previous year, but their order changes. The United States returns to the first spot, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The Netherlands moves one place to 4th, swapping with Switzerland which moves down to 5th. The remaining places in the top 10 are occupied largely by Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden rank 6th, 8th and 9th respectively.
Bottom five economies
At the bottom of the rankings were Venezuela (63rd), Mongolia (62nd), Croatia (61st), Brazil (60th) and Ukraine (59th). Brazil’s improvement is the first since 2010 due to some healing in real GDP and employment.
“This year’s results reinforce a crucial trait of the competitiveness landscape. Countries undertake different paths towards competitiveness transformation” Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center stated.
"Countries at the top of the rankings share an above the average performance across all competitiveness factors, but their competitiveness mix varies. One economy, for example, may build its competitiveness strategy around a particular aspect such as its tangible and intangible infrastructure; another may approach competitiveness through their governmental efficiency” the Professor added.
IMD’s 10 competitive countries
The IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school has published results every year since 1989. It compiles them using 258 indicators on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. ‘Hard’ data including national employment and trade statistics are weighted twice as heavily as the ‘soft’ data from an Executive Opinion Survey that measures the business perception of issues such as corruption, environmental concerns and quality of life. This year 63 countries are ranked.
Established in 1990 in Lausanne, Switzerland, IMD (International Institute for Management Development) is an independent business education school which only offers MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Denmark is also the 12 most competitive nation in the world out of 137 countries ranked in the 2017-2018 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. Competitiveness Rank in the Scandinavian country averaged 8.92 from 2007 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 15 in 2014 and a record low of 3 in 2008, according to Trading Economics.