Japan rises in competitiveness ranks

JIJI

Japan finished in 21st place in the 2014 world competitiveness rankings announced by Swiss business school International Institute for Management Development, or IMD, on Thursday, up three notches from the previous year.

The country saw its ranking rise for the second straight year thanks to the yen’s depreciation resulting from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic program known as “Abenomics.”

The United States remained at the top thanks to its strong economic recovery, improvement in employment and advanced technologies and infrastructure.

Switzerland came in second, unchanged from 2013. Singapore ranked third, up from fifth, and Hong Kong fourth, down from third. They were helped by brisk exports, and business efficiency and innovation.

Five European countries were in the top 10, up from four, thanks to the region’s economic recovery. In addition to Switzerland, Sweden ranked fifth, Germany sixth, Denmark ninth and Norway 10th.

Among emerging economies, China fell by two notches to 23rd, reflecting concerns over its business environment. India slipped from 40th to 44th and Brazil from 51st to 54th due chiefly to their inefficient labor markets.

By contrast, Russia was up four notches to 38th.

The IMD rankings cover 60 countries and regions.

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