Germany has been found to be among the most competitive nations worldwide. An annual study by the IMD Institute says it is the only eurozone country in the top 10.
With its export-oriented manufacturing and its fiscal discipline, Germany has taken ninth place in a survey that measures industrialized nation's abilities to manage their economic and human resources to increase prosperity.
In its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, noted that Germany was the only eurozone nation in the top ten of the rankings. It said this didn't come as a big surprise, given the euro area's massive debt problems at present.
More than 300 factors were considered in assessing competitiveness levels, among them the investment climate, the development of wages, price stability and innovative power. The survey said Germany scored largely because of its highly skilled workers, its favorable infrastructure and its political stability and independent judiciary.
Germany's complicated tax system was singled out as the most negative factor which prevented the country from moving even higher up in the ranking.
Hong Kong leads the field
IMD officials said on Thursday it was interesting to see three other European nations - Switzerland (3rd position), Sweden (5th) and Norway (8th) in the top 10, with all of them having steered clear of the euro single currency.
The most competitive of the 59 countries ranked this year was Hong Kong, followed closely by the United States. IMD emphasized that despite all recent setbacks, the US' impact on other economies remained unmatched.
"This is because the United States uniquely interacts with every economy, advanced or emerging," the director of IMD's World Competitiveness Center, Stephane Garelli, said in a statement. "No other nation can exercise such a strong pull effect on the world," he added.
hg/sgb (Reuters, dpa)