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CEE gaining in worldwide competitiveness

15. May, 2008

The 2008 edition of the renowned World Competiveness Yearbook (WCY) reveals the sharp rise in competitiveness of the CEE economies when benchmarked against other world regions.

According to Swiss based IMD all but one of the CEE economies improved its relative competitiveness up from last year (Poland +8 ranks , Czech Republic and Slovakia + 4, Hungary -3). The new EU members are thus quickly catching up in competitiveness. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of business initiatives are created or transferred to Central Europe as more and more Western companies prefer to operate their activities in the dynamic European East rather than in industrialized nations further West. Looking at the CEE region in particluar especially Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia were able to ’close the gap’ over the last year in comparison to the world leader USA and the other highly industrialized nations leading the worldwide competitiveness ranking. Of all transition countries in Central Eastern Europe Slovakia just like Estonia was assessed to ’have displayed a strong improvement in competitiveness performance in recent years.’ IMD’s annual evaluation of 55 economies’ general business environment encompasses more than 300 criteria based on quantitative and qualitative data depicting the 4 main factors of Economic Performance (domestic economy, international trade, international investment, employment, prices), Government Efficiency (public finance, fiscal policy, institutional framework, business legislation, societal framework), Business Efficiency (productivity, labor market, finance, management practices, attitudes and values) and Infrastructure (basic infrastructure, technological infrastructure, scientific infrastructure, health and environment, education). For more information on the yearbook see IMD World Competitiveness Center.