'UK slips further down competitiveness league'
A survey of 117 countries published today found that the UK had the 13th most competitive economy in the world last year, a drop of two places from 2003. It was overtaken by Australia, the Netherlands and Iceland, according to the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, the Swiss-based think-tank.
The study, which involved 11,000 business leaders worldwide, found that 15 per cent believed the workforce "inadequately educated", while a similar number bemoaned tax regulations, poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy.
The report was seized on by the Conservatives, who said that the UK had "plummeted" from 4th to 13th since Labour won power in 1997. George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said: "Gordon Brown's eight years as Chancellor have suffocated the economy through persistent meddling, ever higher and more complex taxes and red tape. As a nation we are not saving enough while government borrowing is excessive."
But the Treasury said the report showed UK was the best performing economy in the EU out of the four European members of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations. It said: "The UK economy is - as the WEF concludes - 'well positioned to rise to the challenges of increased international competition from India and China'."
In its report the WEF said that the UK had "world class institutions, low levels of corruption and an effective regulatory environment".
Finland topped the table, followed by the US. Four other Nordic nations - Sweden (3rd), Denmark (4th), Iceland (7th) and Norway (9th) made the top 10, along with Taiwan (5th), Singapore (6th), Switzerland (8th) and Australia (10th).
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Which country would be hardest to invade?
Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Nepal earthquake: Many survivors receiving no help despite relief effort
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...