World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018


Australia has gained two places in an international ranking of 63 economies’ digital competitiveness, moving to 13 in the world.

2018 WCY Digital competitiveness results

The digital competitiveness ranking, countries are rated on three core areas, knowledge, technology and future readiness, with three subsets ranked under each of these. 

“Australia has improved in all three core areas of the ranking which is very promising,” she said.

“Rapid technological changes are shifting opportunities in the global economy, this is an area where Australia must remain competitive if we are to maintain our strong economy and living standards.

“In 2014 and 2015 we were ranked 10 and nine respectively, before falling to 14 in 2016 and 15 in 2017. It is good we are again heading in the right direction.”

Ms Cilento said the subfactors where we have the strongest results were for talent (8) and adaptive attitudes (2).

“Our weakest rankings were for business agility (28) and training and education (32),” she said.

Read Australia's digital competitiveness results including overall performance and performance in knowledge, technology and future readiness
See the 2018 international digital rankings
Read the IMD media release - Despite challenge from Asia, "The West" leads in digital - US, Canada and seven European countries in top 10

Australian WCY 2018 results

Australia has climbed two places to be back inside the top 20 most competitive nations, according to the 2018 World Competitiveness survey results.

In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, which ranks and assesses 63 countries, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said Australia had regained two places coming in at 19 and moving ahead of the UK, New Zealand and Iceland.

“Australia improved across the four core areas assessed with economic performance moving from 25 to
19, our best result in five years for this category; government efficiency moving from 18 to 14; business
efficiency moving from 27 to 24; and infrastructure moving from 18 to 16,” she said.

Despite the positive high-level result, the report shows Australia faces a number of challenges to be
more internationally competitive. Australia has dropped six places to 30 in its ranking for productivity and
received a number of low rankings for its personal and corporate tax rates.

The three indicators to rank the lowest for Australia were a competitive tax regime, competency of government and cost competitiveness. These are all unchanged from 2017.

Overall the United States took the top ranking, overtaking Hong Kong, which fell to second place. The top five was rounded out again by Singapore, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Read about Australia's competitiveness trends overall, challenges in 2018 and see how Australia ranks on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure in the summary for Australia. 

International WCY 2018 results

See the 2018 international rankings
Read IMD media release - US overtakes Hong Kong at first place among world’s most competitive economies
Read CEDA media release - World competitiveness ranking released: Australia back in top 20​

About the survey

The rankings are part of the Switzerland based IMD’s 2018 World Competitiveness Yearbook, which compares and ranks 63 countries based on more than 340 business competitiveness criteria. Two thirds of the criteria are based on statistical indicators and one third is based on a survey of more than 6000 international executives conducted in March/April this year. CEDA is the Australian partner for the yearbook.

Other recent CEDA research