IMD International

Catalonia more competitive than Spain says new IMD report

January 19, 2015

From left: Felip Puig, IMD President Dominique Turpin, Arturo Bris

The IMD World Competitiveness Center has released a report comparing the competitiveness of the Spanish region of Catalonia to the 61 countries examined in its World Competitiveness Yearbook.

In the report Catalonia ranks 38th and Spain ranks 40th.

This comes after an announcement earlier in the week by the leader of the Catalonia region, Artur Mas, supporting independence.

The report was based on over 300 indicators, including a wealth of statistical data and a perception survey of business leaders.

Spain comes out on top of Catalonia in several categories in the report but fares worse overall.

Spain was 23rd in basic infrastructure while Catalonia ranked 40th, for example.

The report was delivered to a delegation from Catalonia headed by the region's Counselor for Business and Labor, Felip Puig.

IMD Professor of Finance and Director of the World Competitiveness Center Arturo Bris presented the findings of the report.

"We consider competitiveness to measure how economies can generate prosperity for citizens in a sustainable way," said Bris.

Other highlights of the report were that Catalonia ranks 2nd among the 61 countries studied in school enrollment, 3rd in life expectancy, and 4th in gender equality.

"The Catalan economy's weakest criteria are unemployment, economic growth, start-ups, regulation and training," said Bris. "The good news is that these tend to be short term problems and can be addressed by the government," he added.

"This study provides us with objective information and it will be a useful policy tool for Catalonia," said Counselor Puig.

On independence for Catalonia, Puig said that a large part of the region's population believes that it is increasingly difficult to increase their quality of life while part of Spain. An independent Catalonia would be able to develop an economic situation closer to that of central Europe and the government would pursue membership in the EU, he said.

In closing Bris said that to increase competitiveness many countries try to imitate top-ranked nations like Singapore or Switzerland. "This is a mistake," he said. "Countries do not have the same conditions and they have to find their own way."

Read more about the report's findings

For over 25 years IMD World Competitiveness Center has pioneered research on how nations and enterprises compete to lay the foundations for future prosperity.

Your next step

© 2017 IMD International. All Rights Reserved.