The Global Competitiveness Report 2015–2016 has been released at a pivotal time for the global economy. On the one hand, economic development is characterized by the “new normal” of higher unemployment, lower productivity growth, and subdued economic growth that could still be derailed by uncertainties such as geopolitical tensions, the future path of emerging markets, energy prices, and currency changes. On the other hand, other recent developments show great promise—the so-called fourth industrial revolution and new ways of consuming, such as the sharing economy, could lead to another wave of significant innovations that drive growth. At the same time, we are witnessing economic policymaking becoming increasingly people-centered and embedded in overall societal goals all over the world.
Whether economies get trapped in the new normal or harvest the benefits of the latest innovations for their societies will be crucially dependent on their levels of competitiveness. Policymakers, businesses, and civil society leaders must work together to ensure continued growth and more inclusive outcomes of economic development. Enhancing competitiveness requires not only well-functioning markets; other keys to success include strong institutions that ensure the ability to adapt, the availability of talent, and a high capacity to innovate. These essential ingredients will become even more important in the future because economies that are competitive are more resilient to risks and better equipped to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
This year’s Report provides an overview of the competitiveness performance of 140 economies and thus continues to be the most comprehensive assessment of its kind. It contains a detailed profile of each of the economies analyzed. This Report is one of the flagship publications of the Forum’s Global Competitiveness and Risks Team, which produces a number of related research studies aimed at supporting countries in their transformation efforts and raising awareness about the need to adopt holistic and integrated frameworks for understanding complex phenomena related to competitiveness and global risks.