WEF ranks Finland second most competitive country

December 3, 2002

Brussels, 02 Dec 2002

Finland's economy has been rated as the world's second most competitive after that of the US, according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) global competitiveness report, published in Washington in November.

The report, which ranks the global competitiveness of 80 countries, has placed Finland in the lead for the past two years, but this year the country has been surpassed by the United States. Taiwan, Singapore, and Sweden complete the top five.

Even though Finland swapped positions with the United States, the report still considers Finland to be a model country in many regards. 'Finland enjoys a very high level of technological sophistication, being ranked third in this dimension of competitiveness. In addition, Finland's public institutions are perceived to be the best in the world. Finland has, however, slipped slightly in terms of its macroeconomic environment,' states the WEF report.

The United States took over the top spot mainly due to its strong technology sector. Finland was placed third in the technology index behind Taiwan. Differences between the leading countries are marginal, however. 'Finland [...] is an extremely innovative country', states economist Peter Cornelius from WEF.

The Global Competitiveness Report employs two distinct but complementary approaches to the analysis of competitiveness: growth competitiveness and microeconomic competitiveness. Finland was placed second in the overall ranking of both indicators.

Finland is taking steps to regain its number one ranking, and on 9 December will publish the evaluation report of biotechnology in Finland.

The evaluation concentrates on the impact of public research funding on biotechnology and related life sciences in Finland. Its purpose is two-fold: first, to evaluate the impact of public research funding, and, second, to advise funding organisations, universities, research institutes and industry how to develop and focus biotechnology and life sciences research. The aim of the report is to improve the competitiveness of Finnish innovation systems in biotechnology.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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