Competitive Spain | Spain stagnates in the IMD Competitiveness Ranking due to high unemployment

Spain repeats itself in 36th place out of 64 countries analyzed in the competitiveness ranking prepared annually by the Swiss Business Institute for Management Development (IMD). position of Spanish economy In this thirty-fifth ranking affected by the high level of unemployment, as the country ranked 61st, due to factors such as the low efficiency of unemployment legislation (62nd) and the lack of implementation of digital transformation in companies (56th). In addition, its performance in other indicators such as efficiency Government It is still very weak and one position worse compared to the previous version, moving from the 50th position to the 51st position. In terms of the efficiency of the institutional framework, the country is down three points, and in business legislation there is also a drop of up to five points. points. Denmark, Ireland and Switzerland are the countries that rank first in the ranking, followed by countries such as Singapore, the Netherlands and Taiwan, which are the most competitive economies globally, according to the analysis of IMD specialists.


The study has been prepared Taking into account up to 164 competitive criteria selected on the basis of scientific criteria and 92 questions from a survey of 6,400 CEOs.

Statistical data represents two-thirds of the results, while responses to surveys represent the remaining third and were carried out in the first two quarters of 2023. Given the unreliability of the data collected, Russia And Ukraine It was not evaluated in the 2023 study. However, Kuwait Entered the ranking for the first time.

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When analyzing these numbers, it raises eyebrows at a time when the government is working to further reduce unemployment rates. “We must bear in mind that these results are the result of what the government did two or three years ago.”Jose Caballero, chief economist at the Center for Global Competitiveness, points out that the main indicators for the development of competitiveness of countries lie in the talent, innovation and dynamism of small and medium-sized companies. “These three factors must be aligned between society and government. Both the public and private sectors must work in the same direction. This is what we see in Switzerland or in the Nordic countries,” says Caballero.


Regarding Spain’s strengths in this analysis, the specialists highlight High enrollment ratios in secondary school (which is in fourth place); the life expectancy (where it ranks seventh), the Business services exports (10) and The level of inequality with regard to life expectancy (10). José Caballero also points out that Spain ranks 26th in terms of the number of university graduates. “This is very positive,” he says.

Among the main challenges for the Spanish economy, analysts highlight Need to invest European funds efficiently; Strengthen productive system; administration Inflation so that it does not harm competitiveness with indicators such as those of pensioners or salaries of civil servants; As well as improving workers’ employability and rethinking employment policies within the framework of social dialogue.

With regard to other Western European economies, compared to Spain, different trends are observed. Italy maintains its position compared to last year in 41st place, after Spain. but, Other countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Greece lose many places in competitivenessWhile Belgium witnessed a remarkable improvement and achieved eight places, moving from 21st to 13th, as well as Portugal, which gained three places to reach the 39th place.

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dynamic global competitiveness

Despite the complex interplay of inflation, geopolitical risks, and political fragmentation, Global competitiveness prospects continue to show dynamic, say IMD specialists. “Overall, the ranking shows the chasm that exists between protectionist and free trade economies. Geopolitical factors and economic and social events have led to the emergence of losers and winners on the global stage,” the report says.


In this year’s study, countries most reluctant to open up post-Covid-19 are starting to see improvements in their competitiveness, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, while Those who choose to open early experience setbacks, as in Sweden and Finland.

Among the winners are countries with the agility and adaptability to deal with today’s unpredictable environment with strong economies, As in the case of Ireland, Iceland and Bahrainor with governments that are able to adapt policies in a timely manner based on current economic conditions, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Singapore.

On the other hand, the study highlights that more prosperous economies tend to be smaller, have a good institutional framework with strong educational systems, as well as good access to markets. It is the example of Denmark, Switzerland and Singapore.

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