The Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI) measures competitiveness of countries in an integrated way. It is calculated based on 116 measurable, quantitative indicators derived from reliable sources, such as the World Bank, the IMF, and different UN agencies. The 116 indicators are grouped into 5 sub-indexes: Natural Capital, Resource Efficiency & Intensity, Intellectual Capital, Governance Efficiency, and Social Cohesion.
The Sustainable Competiveness Ranking 2019 is dominated by the Scandinavian and Northern European nations:
- Of the top twenty nations only two are not European – New Zealand on 12, and Canada on 19.
- The top 5 spots are occupied by Scandinavia: Sweden is leading the Sustainable Competitiveness Index – followed by the other 4 the Scandinavian nations and Switzerland.
- The top 20 are dominated by Northern European countries, including the Baltic states
- Germany ranks 15, the UK 17, and the World’s largest economy, the US, is ranked 34. The US ranks particularly low in resource efficiency and social capital – potentially undermining the global status of the US in the future
- Of the large emerging economies (BRICs), China is ranked 37, Brazil 49, Russia 51, and India 130.
- Some of the least developed nations have a considerable higher GSCI ranking than their GDP would suggest (e.g. Peru, Bolivia, Burma, Guyana, Ethiopia…)
- Asian nations (South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and China) lead the Intellectual Capital ranking. However, achieving sustained prosperity in these countries might be compromised by Natural Capital constraints and current high resource intensity/low resource efficiency
- The Social Cohesion ranking is headed by Northern European (Scandinavian) countries, indicating that Social Cohesion is the result of economic growth combined with social consensus
- Sovereign bond ratings do not take into account the underlying sustainability factors; they only describe symptoms, not causes. It is high time that credit ratings do take into account the basis of sustained wealth, because sovereign credit ratings do not fully reflect investor risks.
More details on the methodology are available here.
You can find the complete report here.