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World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019

Australia has slipped one place to 14 in a global ranking of the digital competitiveness of 63 nations.

“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community." 

- Melinda Cilento, CEDA Chief Executive Officer

Australia has slipped one place to 14 in a global ranking of the digital competitiveness of 63 nations released today, with key weaknesses including business agility, tech skills and communications.

In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said the results showed Australia had more work to do if it is to keep pace with other economies.

“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” she said.

Ms Cilento said under future readiness, Australia ranks just 45 for agility of companies, down three places from last year.

In addition, she said in the technology area, Australia’s communications technology ranking was still poor at 54.

The ranking rates performance in three areas, knowledge, technology and future readiness, with further subfactors considered under each of these elements.

Australian WCY 2019 results

Australia has climbed one place in a global ranking on the competitiveness of 63 nations released today, with our overall performance remaining largely the same for the last five years.

In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said boosting Australia’s global competitiveness should be a central focus for governments, with the Federal election now clearing the way to step up our efforts in areas like tax and energy.

“Failure to reduce the company tax rate, bracket creep, stalled energy policy and lackluster productivity have been identified as weaknesses in Australia’s competitiveness in these latest rankings,” Ms Cilento said.

“Australia’s ranking has stalled, fluctuating narrowly between 17 and 21 in the last five years. The new term of parliament provides an opportunity to refocus attention and action on persistent issues where too little progress has been made over the past decade."

Key strengths for Australia included the resilience of our economy, ranking at five, and our overall economic performance, which ranks at 14. Areas of weakness for Australia include energy infrastructure and digital/technological skills, falling to 55 and 44 respectively.

Overall Singapore moved to the top ranking from third in 2018, overtaking Hong Kong (2) and the US (3), which lost the top spot. The top five was rounded out by Switzerland and for the first time, the UAE.

International WCY 2019 results

Download the 2019 Australian results 

See the 2019 international rankings 

Read IMD media release - Singapore topples United States as world’s most competitive economy

Read CEDA media release - Australia improves one place ranking 18, Federal election clears the way for renewed focus 

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© IMD World Competitiveness Center

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.