Australian economy’s competitiveness up one place in major study, work needed on skills, energy

Australia has moved up one place to 18th in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings, though the results indicate major improvement is needed in areas including digital skills and energy, says the study’s Australian partner.

The results released today compare the competitiveness of 63 nations, with Singapore placed first, followed by Hong Kong, the US (down from first place last year), Switzerland and the UAE. Australia has not ranked in the top ten since 2011, and its placing has been largely unchanged in the last five years.
Melinda Cilento, the CEO of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, said the recent May 18 federal election cleared the way for action on things like company tax rates, energy, and the digital skills necessary to lift productivity through innovation. Australia placed 44th for digital/technological skills and 55th for energy infrastructure.
“These are two areas that have drawn considerable national focus in the last five years but we have failed to make progress,” Cilento said.
“We know that innovation is key to keeping our economy strong and digital skills are going to be required to some level in every job in coming decades. We need to make sure we are keeping up with other nations in developing those skills.”
The results of the World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings – which CEDA is Australian partner for – are based on more than 340 criteria. Two-thirds of these are based on statistical indicators and the rest on surveys of 6,000-plus executives carried out in March and April. Country profiles based on the results can be seen here.
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