The grand duchy ranked 19th out of 137 territories in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, produced by the World Economic Forum, a major Swiss research institute. Locally the WEF worked with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
No ground-breaking improvements were recorded, the chamber said in a press statement published on 27 September. There has been no overall gain, nor a general loss in the latest results.
Luxembourg retained the same rank as in 2016 in two key sub-categories: 23rd place in “efficiency enhancers” and 16th place for “innovation and sophistication”. However, the country dropped from the 9th to the 10th place for its “basic requirements”. These included Luxembourg’s weakest areas, such as infrastructure and health.
Where Luxembourg is lagging behind
Despite the recent test run of the tram, Luxembourg lost one place for its infrastructure (17th rank) which remains a “vital” area of development, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
In its press announcement, the chamber expressed its dissatisfaction over the numbers on health and primary education as well as secondary and post-secondary education. Results of recent school reforms have proved to be long in coming, it stated. However, the chamber added that the WEF did not take into account the great number of Luxembourgers studying abroad in their “higher education and training” pillar.
In a more detailed annexe to its press release, the chamber stressed three crucial points which needed to be improved over the coming years to ensure the country’s competitiveness against global evolution:
- The chamber noted that the finance sector remained vulnerable on a global level, even ten years post-crisis. New fragile points were observed, such as private debts of emerging economies and the increase in power of under-regulated financial markets.
- The support system between economy and society needs to be developed.
- The chamber urged the promotion of a flexible labour market as well as the protection of employees.
Tops in traditional pillars
Luxembourg was in the top 10 for its “traditional” pillars: the country made 8th place for its institutions, ranked 4th for its labour market efficiency, and with a gain of one place, Luxembourg became the top country in technological readiness. The chamber also hailed the grand duchy’s 7th place for macro-economic environment.
Switzerland remained at the top in the overall competitiveness index (for the 9th year running), followed by the US (in 2nd place) and Singapore.
Seven other EU countries ranked higher than Luxembourg: Austria (ranked 18th globally), Denmark (12), Finland (10), the UK (8), Sweden (7), Germany (5) and the Netherlands (4).