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1996 World Competitiveness Yearbook Released; U.S. Ranks First

June 14, 1996

The International Institute for Management Development has released its annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, and the United States has reclaimed its spot atop the list. The U.S. was followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Denmark.

World Competitiveness is defined by IMD as "the ability of a country to create added value and thus increase national wealth by managing assets and processes, attractiveness and aggressiveness, globality and proximity, and by integrating these relationships into an economic and social model." National wealth is the end result of world competitiveness.

The World Competitiveness Yearbook 1996 considered eight different factors: domestic economy, internationalization, government, management, finance, infrastructure, science and technology, and people. Altogether, they account for 225 criteria where each of the 46 countries is ranked individually. The World Competitiveness Scoreboard is the aggregation of all these criteria and provides each country's global ranking.

According to the report, "the United States (1st) has reinforced its leadership position in world competitiveness, previously held by Japan for many years, and has even increased its lead over the other nations. The U.S. economy seems to have found the right cruising speed. This success is based on having a large and resilient  Domestic Economy (1st), on regaining first place in introducing new Technology (1st), and on taking a very flexible attitude towards work structures. The U.S. also has high scores in Finance (1st) and Internationalization (2nd). The country's weak point is in the People factor (15th), which inevitably fuels the growing debate on the human costs for recovering competitiveness and the social responsibility of Management (10th)."

Specifically in the area of Science and Technology, the report describes several assets and liabilities for the U.S. Assets include: total expenditure on R&D, business expenditure on R&D, total R&D personnel in business, Nobel prizes, research cooperation, patents granted to residents, total R&D personnel nationwide, basic research, financial resources, technological cooperation, and number of patents in force. Liabilities are limited to: quality of science in education and number of qualified engineers.

For more information or a copy of the report summary, contact SSTI at 614-421-SSTI, or IMD via the internet at http://www.imd.ch

International