LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Eastern European nations are increasingly rivalling their more established Western counterparts in terms of economic competitiveness, a major new study from the IMD World Competitiveness Center has revealed.
According to the latest edition of the prestigious World Competitiveness Ranking, the economies of Latvia, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia are among the fastest-improving in the world.
Each has bettered its 2015 position by six places - a rise beaten only by Ireland and the Netherlands - with Latvia moving to 37th, the Slovak Republic to 40th and Slovenia to 43rd.
IMD business school has published the ranking each year since 1989 and it is widely regarded as the foremost annual assessment of the competitiveness of countries.
The 2016 edition ranks China Hong Kong first, Switzerland second and the USA third, with Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada completing the top 10.
Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said: "The impressive performance of Eastern European economies as a whole is to be welcomed.
"The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions. These are qualities that many Eastern European economies are increasingly recognising and embracing, and a breakthrough into the top 20 might not be too far away."
The Czech Republic, in 27th place, currently ranks as the most competitive economy in Eastern Europe, followed by Lithuania (30th), Estonia (31st) and Poland (33rd).
By way of context, France occupies 32nd position, Spain 34th and Italy 35th.
Hungary and Bulgaria, in 46th and 50th respectively, also improved on their 2015 standings.
Professor Bris said: "The main driver of the general improvements across Europe is the efficiency of the public sector, which is now recovering in earnest after the financial crisis.
"Ireland and the Netherlands have recorded the biggest jumps of any economy, while Sweden, Belgium, Spain and Italy are among those that also continue to improve."
A full breakdown of the IMD World Competitiveness Center's Ranking is available at https://worldcompetitiveness.imd.org/Press/ - Please contact IMD media relations for login credentials.
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SOURCE IMD International