The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017

The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017


The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017 is being
launched at a time of rising income inequality, mounting
social and political tensions, and a general feeling of
uncertainty about the future. Growth remains persistently
low: commodity prices have fallen, as has trade; external
imbalances are increasing; and government finances
are stressed. However, it also comes during one of
the most prosperous and peaceful times in recorded
history, with less disease, poverty, and violent conflict
than ever before. Against this backdrop of seeming
contradictions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings
both unprecedented opportunity and an accelerated
speed of change.
Creating the conditions necessary to reignite growth
could not be more urgent. The
Report this year is the
latest edition of the Forum’s longstanding cross-country
bench-marking analysis of the factors and institutions that
determine long-term growth and prosperity. Incentivizing
innovation is especially important for finding new growth
engines, but laying the foundations for long-term,
sustainable growth requires working on all factors and
institutions identified in the Global Competitiveness
Index. Leveraging the opportunities of the Fourth
Industrial Revolution will require not only businesses
willing and able to innovate, but also sound institutions,
both public and private; basic infrastructure, health, and
education; macroeconomic stability; and well-functioning
labor, financial, and human capital markets.
Although there is broad consensus on the
importance of the factors currently measured in the
Index, we are undertaking a review process that seeks to
understand the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
on measures of productivity and the drivers of growth.
In the second chapter of this
Report, we present our
thinking regarding the potential future structure of the
Index, building on consultations with experts on each
pillar under the thought leadership of our main academic
advisor, Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martín. It explores
new ways of assessing innovation, human capital, and
competitiveness at different stages of development, as
well as our latest thinking on how our benchmarking
tools can be used for policy prioritization

We face a large challenge—how to build a more
prosperous and inclusive world for all. As a flagship effort
of the Forum’s System Initiative on Economic Growth
and Social Inclusion,
The Global Competitiveness
serves as a tool for public-private collaboration
on long-term competitiveness agendas contributing to
this objective.
As well as the thought leadership of Professor
The Global Competitiveness Report
has benefited from the dedication and
collaboration of 160 Partner Institutes worldwide.
We would like to convey our appreciation to all the
business executives who respond to our Executive
Opinion Survey, one of the unique components of
the Index. Appreciation also goes to Professor Klaus
Schwab, Executive Chairman, who developed the
original concept back in 1979; Jennifer Blanke, Chief
Economist; Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Head of Global
Competitiveness and Risks; and team members Silja
Baller, Attilio Di Battista, Ciara Browne, Roberto Crotti,
Caroline Galvan, Thierry Geiger, Daniel Gómez Gaviria,
Gaëlle Marti, and Stéphanie Verin



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