The United States lead the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness global ranking, followed by Singapore and Germany. EU countries take half of the top 10 positions.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 edition of «The Global Competitiveness Report» assesses the performance of 140 countries in 98 relevant topics divided in 12 different subjects, including, among others, infrastructure, health, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.

For the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, the United States topped the global ranking, much due to the successful combination of an outstanding performance of its financial system with significant funds made available for venture capital and financing of SMEs (a leading 5.6 and 5.8 out of 7 in both indexes), fluid product and labour dynamics (with notable marks on HR practices and mobility) and the market size, second only to China.

Germany was 1st among the EU countries and 3rd in the global ranking. Singapore took the 2nd place. Switzerland and the Netherlands move down.

Portugal moves up from 42nd place in 2017 to 34th and from 18th to 16th in the ranking of EU countries.

EU countries kept half of the first 10 positions. The EU as a whole improved its performance with better rankings and additional Member-States in the top fifty economies.

China and India did not move up on the charts but added 0.9 and 1.2 points to their 2017 scores, respectively. There is still a substantial gap to the leaders in the innovation race, where China and India rank 24th and 31st respectively.

The EU, Portugal included, performed better in the WEF report, showing good results on improving the competitiveness of its economies, than in the World Bank’s «Doing Business 2019», where the EU is losing ground to emerging countries in the attraction of investors.

Portugal has its highest performance in the following pillars: Infrastructure, 19th, Health, 23rd, and Business dynamism, 27th.

The World Economic Forum points out the vulnerabilities of the small size of Portugal’s domestic market, which is an unavoidable fact that can only be compensated by a dynamic exporting economy, and Portugal’s fragile macro-economic stability, especially because of the debt dynamics where Portugal scores 70 points in 100, in line with Italy and ahead of Greece by almost 30 points. Portugal drops seven positions in the employment pillar Skills, but improves in half of the indexes related to the training of its workforce.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2018 highlights Portugal’s reputation as a jurisdiction with business dynamics and as the innovation hub in Southern Europe, leading the region in the growth of innovative companies, scoring 8.3 more points than Spain and 17.9 more than Greece.

Portugal improved significantly in the strength of institutions pillar, moving up 13 positions to 30th place.

Portugal achieves its best performance in crime-related incidences, 12th, road quality, 5th, electrification rate, 1st, inflation, 1st, and the prevalence of non-tariff barriers on product markets, 5th.

In total, Portugal scores 10.2 points above the average of all 140 economies. Portugal closed the gap to 12.4 points to the 10 most competitive economies.

For further information about Portugal’s economy and key legal aspects visit our web-platform «Why Portugal»