Which countries are among world's 'most competitive'?

Posted at 09/03/2014 2:27 PM | Updated as of 09/04/2014 6:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland was ranked the most competitive country in the world in the latest Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

WEF’s competitive report, which was released Wednesday, said Switzerland continue to deliver excellent results in innovation, business sophistication, higher education and labor market efficiency— four of the 12 categories that the global competitive index is based on.

Singapore maintained its hold on the second spot while the United States overtook Finland and Germany to take third.

The following are the top 10 economies in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015:

Switzerland
Singapore
United States
Finland
Germany
Japan
Hong Kong
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Sweden

Only US, Japan and the United Kingdom improved in the rankings while Finland and Germany both dropped one place.

Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Netherlands made no movement in the rankings. Sweden, however, slid to the 10th spot from 6th last year.

WEF said the health of the global economy is at risk as countries struggle to implement structural reforms needed to boost economic growth.

WEF also said that some of the world’s largest emerging market economies, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Nigeria, continue to face difficulties in improving competitiveness.

“The strained geopolitical situation, the rise of income inequality, and the potential tightening of the financial conditions could put the still tentative recovery at risk and call for structural reforms to ensure more sustainable and inclusive growth,” said WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.

Among nine Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines is the biggest gainer as it jumped seven notches to 52nd from its ranking of 59th last year.

Out of the 144 economies ranked, the bottom 10 economies are:

Burkina Faso
Timor-Leste
Haiti
Sierra Leone
Burundi
Angola
Mauritania
Yemen
Chad
Guinea

The 12 pillars of competitiveness measured by the WEF are institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.