Research of the WCC

Our center contributes to many studies and research. Read some complementary examples below.

Research of the WCC

Our center contributes to many studies and research. Read some complementary examples below.

China: why Beijing has decided this is the year to ‘unify’ with Taiwan

The likelihood of China using military force to “reunify” Taiwan is growing.

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Businesses have changed what they care about. What might this mean for the future?

Christos Cabolis analyzes the WCC’s 2021 executive survey responses.

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‘Sustainability first Denmark’ tops economic competitiveness ranking
Topics: Competitiveness, Economics

Denmark has reached the number one spot in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR) for the first time in the ranking’s 34-year history.

15 June 2022
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Leaders: pay attention to what really motivates your workers
Topics: Competitiveness, Leadership, Talent Management

People’s motivation for work during the pandemic has proven crucial for economic success, IMD’s World Talent Ranking 2021 finds.

09 December 2021
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Data shows effects of COVID-19 and climate change on citizens’ perceptions of how ‘smart’ their cities are
Topics: Digital, Competitiveness

The third edition of the annual IMD-SUTD Smart City Index (SCI) revealed that city-dwellers’ perceptions of how technology is helping to address urban challenges has been highly affected by the pandemic and its acceleration of digital transformation.

28 October 2021
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China and US pursuing markedly different digital transformations
Topics: Competitiveness, Digital

Data unveiled on 29 September shows how the US tops IMD’s Digital Competitiveness Rankings for the fourth year running. China has risen 15 places in that time, from 30th to 15th.

29 September 2021
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‘The data monetization trend calls for a common framework, but we need to prioritize questions of trust’
Topics: Digital, Competitiveness

By Arturo Bris
Referring to the battle between the US versus Chinese models of digitalization, Marten Kaevats, National Digital Adviser of Estonia, said that both models were ‘big brother-like’.

29 September 2021
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The Right Place
Topics: Competitiveness

By Arturo Bris
The Right Place explains why firms succeed in one country and fail in another, irrespective of their inner drivers, and suggest potential initiatives that governments can take to help the private sector create jobs.

29 July 2021
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Too much focus on fiscal policy and failure to unite citizens spell economic failure, agree panel of experts
Topics: Competitiveness, Economics, Politics

By Arturo Bris 
Taiwan remains one of the most successful economies to tackle the dual problem of the health and economic crisis of the past 18 months and entered the top 10 for the first time since 2012.

17 June 2021
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Want to see all articles on the subject of competitiveness? Check out our Research & Knowledge section.

All Competitiveness articles
Joint research projects

The IMD World Competitiveness Center leads joint research projects with industries and governments worldwide. Many of these reports remain confidential. Two reports were published in partnership with Accenture, on the competitiveness of the largest Swiss firms, and, with KPMG AG, on the key Swiss location attractiveness factors for multinationals.

Investing for the long term

The IMD World Competitiveness Center collaborated with UBS during the first UBS-IMD Sovereign Investment Circle program held in Singapore in March 2018. This white paper outlines the key points examined during this program and explores the factors that sovereign wealth funds should take into consideration in their investment decisions: demographics, technology, and sustainability.

Business competitiveness of firms in Switzerland

We have developed a groundbreaking conceptual framework and methodology to study firm competitiveness. We partnered with Accenture Switzerland in 2014 to conduct a study on the competitiveness of the largest Swiss firms.

The report focuses on the firm-specific practices and processes that successful Swiss companies employ to strengthen their competitiveness. Our aim was to obtain insights into the internal behaviors and dynamics of those firms and their effects on the different dimensions of competitiveness.

In 2015, we again partnered with Accenture to conduct a study on digital expectations, strategies and practices in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The study analyzed the top 500 largest Austrian, German, and Swiss companies and considered financial data from 2010 to 2014.

Summary of results for Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

Key findings of our joint study with Accenture.


Press release: Switzerland for Business Competitiveness 2015

Recognizing and then capturing the opportunities offered by digitilization is at the heart of growth in Switzerland’s ‘Top500’ leading companies, according to the annual Top500 study conducted by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) in collaboration with the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

Summary of results 2014

Business competitiveness is the capacity of a firm to create value through sustainable long-term growth and profitability. There are two dimensions of business competitiveness: general and intrinsic. The general dimension influences the nature of the practices a firm chooses to adopt. The intrinsic dimension refers to the behaviors and practices that allow a firm to sustain its performance over the long term.

Press release: 2014 Business Competitiveness

Talent management, strong governance, innovation, and organization are the key factors behind the growth and competitiveness of Switzerland’s Top500 leading companies. This is the main finding of the latest annual Top500 study conducted by Accenture, a management consulting, technology, and outsourcing services company, in collaboration with the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

Attractiveness factors for multinational corporations

The IMD World Competitiveness Center collaborated with KPMG AG to produce a study on the key Swiss location attractiveness factors for multinational corporations (MNCs). Many MNCs that were initially drawn to Switzerland’s well-known location advantages now feel the benefits derived from those advantages are at risk.

The study was the result of a joint survey of more than 850 foreign-owned MNCs with operations in Switzerland conducted by KPMG AG, the IMD World Competitiveness Center, Switzerland Global Enterprises, and the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce.

Clarity on business location Switzerland

Is Switzerland ready for business transformation? Report by KPMG, in collaboration with the WCC, The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, and Switzerland Global Enterprise, October 2016

Download the PDF
It’s Swiss time!
Topics: Strategy, Economics, Competitiveness

By Arturo Bris and Michael R. Wade, November 2016
Opportunities for greatness are rare, and all notable success stories can be traced back to someone, somewhere making exactly the right move at just the right time. One of those rare moments exists right now.

09 November 2016 4 min. read
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Why are companies setting up shop in the most expensive country in the world?
Topics: Economics, Competitiveness

By Arturo Bris
Without a doubt, Switzerland has been one of the most successful economies over the past several decades. It sits atop most international rankings in terms of productivity, innovation capacity, life satisfaction and competitiveness.

15 November 2016 6 min. read
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Competitiveness Ranking

The IMD World Competitiveness Ranking is based on 333 competitiveness criteria selected as a result of comprehensive research using economic literature with international, national and regional sources and feedback from the business community, government agencies, and academics.

Digital Competitiveness Ranking

The IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking assesses the capacity and readiness of an economy to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government, and wider society.

Talent Ranking

The IMD World Talent Ranking assesses the extent to which nations develop, attract, and retain talent for enterprises operating in those economies.

Smart City Index

Published by The Smart City Observatory (IMD and Singapore University of Technology and Design – SUTD). The Smart city index offers a balanced focus on economic and technological aspects of smart cities on the one hand, and “humane dimensions” of smart cities (quality of life, environment, inclusiveness) on the other.

World Competitiveness Online

IMD World Competitiveness Online is a unique and comprehensive database on the competitiveness of nations. It includes time series from the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, the leading annual report published by IMD since 1989, from the IMD World Talent Ranking and from the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking.

Visit our eShop

Order the IMD World Competitiveness package, or the online database or Yearbook+digital version (PDF), as well as individual country profiles and factors.

Alumni Stories
‘It was the catalyst for making a corporate executive become a successful entrepreneur and investor’

Andreas Wallnoefer was 52, with a long and successful career as an R&D scientist and pharma executive behind him, when he took his EMBA at IMD. The course launched him on a new career as a private equity investor and biotech entrepreneur.

13 January 2023
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