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Germany outranks US in global competitiveness

The Local · 5 Sep 2012, 10:40

Published: 05 Sep 2012 10:40 GMT+02:00

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Germany also ranked sixth last year in the survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), but for the first time this year, it surpassed the United States, which fell from fifth to seventh place on the list. The report was released Wednesday by the WEF in Geneva.

Switzerland topped the rankings in the global competitiveness report for the fourth consecutive year. Singapore ranked second, with the northern European countries of Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands rounding out the top five. The United Kingdom ranked just behind the United States in eighth place.

According to the report's authors, the competitiveness rating of the US grew overall, but its spot on the list fell for the fourth year in a row. The reasons were cited as its "burgeoning macroeconomic vulnerabilities," and the institutional environment, "particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency."

Factors such as poor access to financing and rigid labour markets kept the southern European countries of Portugal (49th), Spain (36th), and Italy (42nd) lower on the list. The country at the centre of the euro crisis, Greece, was ranked 96th of the 144.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, urged governments to adopt long-term measures to enhance their countries' competitiveness. He said in a statement: "Persisting divides in competitiveness across regions and within regions, particularly in Europe, are at the origin of the turbulence we are experiencing today, and this is jeopardizing our future prosperity.”

Germany received high marks for infrastructure, business sophistication, education and innovation.

But the country ranked near the bottom of the survey when it came to certain labour issues, such as the flexibility of wage determination (139th) and hiring and firing practices (127th).

Story continues below…

The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:20 September 5, 2012 by smart2012
guys, just to mention how to read this. Switzerland is the one at the top as they give best tax ratio to companies, and companies can fire people with 3 weeks notice (and no payments). Germany increased competitiveness by killing retirement program (retiring in Germany is one of the worst in EU).. And china is not mention here.

Who pays those guys to make those studies???
08:04 September 6, 2012 by sally#
It's really heartening news that this year Germany still ranked sixth out of 144 countries in a new global survey and surpassed the United States. Germany always pay great attention to innovation.We can see from the Germany giant companies. For example, the Schaeffler invested 7.3% of its annual turnover in R&D, Bosch 7.9%, Siemens 7.2% last year.No wonder received high marks for this part.
09:05 September 6, 2012 by catjones
The local and its commentors are forever comparing DL to the USA. It's ludicrous.
09:38 September 6, 2012 by smart2012
China, which is the most competitive country in the world, is not here.

India neither, Brazil neither, Russia neither..

What a joke
10:05 September 6, 2012 by Peepopaapo
Yes, smart2012, we all know that you are much better educated and more intelligent than all the women and men who created the "Global Competitiveness Index" and who are moreover only "BILD-reading" idiots...
12:54 September 6, 2012 by Hell low Kitty

Switzerland are freeloaders on the back of other Countries ,nothing new !

Schweizer sind Trittbrettfahrer,auf dem Rücken anderer Länder! Das weiß man doch !
13:59 September 6, 2012 by Klaipeda
That Germany and Switzerland are near the top is no surprise. Beautiful cities, efficient transportation, healthcare for everyone and an educated population. That the USA is near the top is a huge surprise. I don't know how they measure success. The USA has a crumbling infrastructure, crummy cities (with a few exceptions), a terrible education system (except for universities where they invite foreigners to study), a rotten healthcare system that costs a fortune and very few jobs - if you have one, hold on to it.

The USA has begun what will be a long descent into second class status as a nation. The enormous benefit of being the only nation undamaged by WW II while the rest of the world was destroyed and the influx of Europeans that built the atomic bomb, the jet, the rocket to the moon and so much more for them are all gone now and the USA can't create people like that from its own population.
14:49 September 6, 2012 by derb76
Klaipeda-good point, I guess you have travelled to the US before and someone insulted you by asking if "you like David Hasselhof?" Relax, I mean at least Knight Rider was pretty cool.

The point made every time the local.de compares US to Germany is the long remaining truth that we obviously have something good going on and Germany aspires to be better. I wish that Germans would stop trying to prove their superiority...It honestly makes it very hard for me to live here.
15:38 September 6, 2012 by Hell low Kitty

It is less a superiority complex,but we don`t sing our National Anthem,don`t salute our National Flag

I think it has to do with with our Borders to Poland,Czech Republic,,Austria,Switzerland,France,Luxembourg,Belgium,Nederland,Danmak9 Borders to our Neighbor Countries.Sometimes not allways with critical minds toward Germany.And in the global Arena often offended as Nazi Germans.So i guess there is a kind of a futile attempt to show,that we are not that bad,as often to find in every Internet forum. I think Germans try to defend themselves with their achievements,it is less a superiority complex,it more like "see we are working and we not the Worlds Evil like you often like to put us in it.They desperately go sometimes over the top.So its rather a inferiority complex ! But have xou ever sonething like U-S.A--,U-S-A--U-S-A-- in German?
23:35 September 6, 2012 by Klaipeda
I was born in the USA and I've lived here my whole life. Unlike most Americans I've traveled a lot. I've been all over Europe many times, for long stays. You don't have to read The Local to read about the problems the USA has. Every year there are three quality of life surveys done by three separate organizations ranking the best cities in the world. Not one American city is listed in the top 10 in any one of the studies. German speaking cities dominate one study by Monocle and are well represented in the other 2 studies.

As Hell low Kitty points out above, the only country in the world that constantly claims to be the best is the USA and they constantly tell everyone this even in international events. I personally find the Germans attitude toward themselves disgusting. They have no pride at all and constantly bad mouth themselves.
04:25 September 7, 2012 by Hell low Kitty

Oh, I unfortunately made a mistake,sorry !

I don't want aim at the USA, I tried to explain that some people defend the successes of this country,because we at least here in Europe often are in the focus.And many like to play since the end of the cold War and the reunification the Nazi card.So it is rather an escalation of the defense instead of a superiority complex.

you wrote:"They have no pride at all and constantly bad mouth themselves".I think you have a point in there,maybe it is a kind of selfcontroll from the media.To much pride makes our neighbours a little bit nervous,for no reason and it is not good for trade and exports.

I misinterpret this USA--USA--USA thing,sorry my broken english !
05:25 September 7, 2012 by Klaipeda
@ Hell low Kitty They may remove this comment, but hopefully you will read it first.

I think its because the victors of WW II force the Germans to be overly critical and make patriotism a bad word. A bad word for Germans, not anyone else. Think about the laws that prohibit Germans from saying certain things. Those laws are there to instill a permanent guilt in German minds. They ensure the guilty Germans will do what the WW II victors want them to do.,
06:58 September 7, 2012 by Hell low Kitty

Well ,we can turn it so often we want,it was the lowest point in the german history,nobody can denied it.Resulting of wrong decicions after the WW1. by the Victors and Germany.And that first War had many Dads,like we used to say.

"laws that prohibit Germans from saying certain things",well i thing for good reasons,we owe this decency the victims.No question about that.

What bothers me personally is why is no one intrested of dark chapters of other countries in the turn of the century in public.And to ask and to get anwers is also a difficult venture.Stereotyping of the Germans would probably diminish drastically.
08:04 September 7, 2012 by Klaipeda
@ Hell low Kitty

Sorry, I don't agree with that. But I won't go any further than that in my explanation because they will delete my comment.
08:05 September 11, 2012 by honeybeee
Guys ,now we are talking about pros and cons , when a country¦#39;s pros are bigger than cons , that means its pace is fastly improving now and German has this sort of improving situations now. German has much more global views than before , so which it can surpass America to become the world¦#39;s 6th ranked in the survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and has stronger competitiveness nowadays.

In this stuggling global economic downturn situation , many companies already has struggle till now , but why german can have that stronger economics , that must be thank to many innovation high-tech german companies , Schaeffler Ag is abosolutely is one of them and has great contributions to german current steady economics situations.

Schaeffler AG CEO Dr. Juergen M. Geissinger stated in Herzogenaurach, August 28, 2012 , said that ¦quot;The Schaeffler Group continued its growth path during the first six months. We were able again to grow profitably within the current challenging environment during the first six months. Our global positioning and our innovative product range represent significant competitive advantages for us, particularly in this volatile market environment ¦quot;. Maybe many US companies can learn from this successful german company and german spirit to overcome current economics difficulties and prepare to draw a prosperous future soon .
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