'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).
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...