Ireland falls back a place in Global Competitiveness Index

27 Sep 2017

The World Economic Forum meets yearly in Davos, Switzerland. Image: Boris B/Shutterstock

Ireland takes a knock in the World Economic Forum rankings following a years-long climb.

The latest Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been released, and Ireland has fallen by one place to 24 out of 137 countries surveyed.

The country had been on something of a winning streak prior to this point, jumping to 23 last year compared to 28 in 2013.

The US takes a leap

At the top of the pile are Switzerland, the US and Singapore, with the UK scraping into the top 10 ahead of Japan, landing at number eight.

The US saw its highest ranking in eight years, hitting the No 2 spot.

The WEF measures competitiveness by considering 12 factors that together paint a picture of productivity in any surveyed country. These include: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health, education, financial-market development, technological readiness, market size and innovation.

The forum also takes into account a survey of nearly 13,000 executives from 133 countries, with this year’s taking place between February and June 2017.

What’s keeping Ireland behind?

In terms of Ireland’s key problem areas inhibiting competitiveness, number one is inadequate infrastructure, followed by tax rates, inefficient government bureaucracy and problems accessing financing. On a positive note, corruption and crime barely rank on the list here.

The most positive of the 12 productivity factors include our institutions, macroeconomic environment, and health and primary education.

Despite the slip in the rankings, Ireland is outpacing the rest of Europe and the US when it comes to technological readiness, making us one of the most connected economies in the world.

WEF to tackle global unrest in 2018

The WEF meets annually in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, and the next meeting will be held from 23 to 26 January 2018.

It said: “The global context has changed dramatically: geostrategic fissures have re-emerged on multiple fronts with wide-ranging political, economic and social consequences. Realpolitik is no longer just a relic of the Cold War. Economic prosperity and social cohesion are not one and the same. The global commons cannot protect or heal itself.

“The 48th World Economic Forum annual meeting therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The programme, initiatives and projects of the meeting are focused on strengthening cooperation in a fractured world.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects