IMD rating shows Norway’s competitive power has weakened slightly


An IMD business school ranking indicates Norway being less seductive than a year ago, but there’s no need to worry, according to one of the experts behind the award. Last year, Norway came in at 9th place, this year we stand at 11th on the ranking table compiled by the IMD in Switzerland.

‘Norway has fallen two places, but I wouldn’t worry unduly over this. Over a period of time, the foundation for Norwegian competitiveness is very stable’, said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of IMD’s ‘World Competitiveness Center’.

‘Norway has a competitive economy, with a good public sector, an efficient private sector, and good infrastructure,’ he emphasised.

Oil downturn

Last year Norway also dropped from seventh to ninth position on the list. According to Bris, the main reason for the Norway’s somewhat weaker position is obvious.

‘The fall in the ranking is due to economic development in the country. It’s usually transient, and linked to international forces and commodity prices,’ said the professor, pointing to the centrality of oil prices for an export-oriented country such as Norway.

The oil industry, which fully collapsed in 2014, led to a decline in Norwegian exports, lower investments and supply of external capital to Norway.

Under the main category of economic results, Norway fell from 32nd to 48th place on this year’s list. In two subcategories of international trade, and international investment, we moved eleven and ten places respectively.

However, in terms of infrastructure and efficiency in the public sector, Norway is keeping it sharp. Bris explained that infrastructure is not just about roads and railways, but also health care, broadband, and general standard of living.

Stable at the top

As for 2016, Hong Kong came top of the list. The former British colony has had partial economic autonomy since it was made over to China in 1997.

Switzerland follows in 2nd place, while Singapore took the last medal position. U.S.A. fell one place since last year to 4th position. For the first time, IMD also made its own ranking for digital competitiveness, where Norway came in at 10th place.

Bris pointed out that Norway, and many other European countries, have a wonderful education system geared to the 20th century.

‘But now we have to reform our education systems,’ he noted, pointing to a need to understand major technological advances.

IMD measures competitiveness using 260 different indicators for 63 countries included on this year’s ranking.

About two thirds of indicators are taken from concrete statistics on unemployment and commerce, and a third are obtained from surveys on levels of corruption, environmental standards, and quality of life.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today