The business school IMD, in the Swiss city of Lausanne
Darío Menor. Rome
The competitiveness of the Spanish economy is rising. This has been certified by a detailed study carried out by the Swiss business school IMD that has consulted 4,300 international executives. In the world ranking of 2014 Spain held the position 39, six positions higher than last year. The total number of nations studied is 60: the list is headed by the United States and closed by Venezuela. Both American countries repeat positions in relation to 2013.
The high training of the workers, the infrastructures and the low costs are the most attractive points of the Spanish State, which has, on the other hand, its dark points in the level of unemployment, the regulation of the labour market and the negative real growth registered by the economy during the preceding financial year.
The IMD report, which had the collaboration of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE in its Spanish acronym) to be elaborated, suggests the Government of Mariano Rajoy the following reforms to increase competitiveness: improving the public administrations to make them more efficient; making the access to credit for the private sector easier; reducing unemployment; ending the deficit of the electric rate and guaranteeing energy at competitive prices; and encouraging the internationalization and the industrialization of the economy.
Only Rumania, which moves up eight positions, rises more than Spain in the ranking
“There are four foundations explaining the rise in relation to last year in Spain: the improvement of the financial situation, the awakening of the business world, the greater internationalization and the increase in the number of foreign investments achieved”. The analysis is made by the economist Anne-France Borgeaud Pierazzi, responsible for the operations of the centre of studies IMD that carried out the study.
The six positions that Spain moves up in the ranking, a rise surpassed only by Rumania, which moves from position 55 to 47, could have been more if the labour market had responded with greater strength to the Government’s reforms. In fact, the different problems related to unemployment are considered to be important weak points for the Spanish competitiveness in three out of the four sections of the analysis of the country: economic development, governmental efficiency, business efficiency and efficiency in infrastructures.
Borgeaud Pierazzi compares Spain’s evolution during the last year with Italy’s. Whereas Madrid improves its position in the table, Rome falls two positions and moves to position 46. Among the countries of the Eurozone, only Greece is lower in the ranking. “In Spain there is barely a risk of political instability. It is positively valued how predictable the Government is”, states the expert, admitting that one of the most used arguments by Rajoy to explain his policies is right. On the contrary, she criticizes the little resistance of our economy to the cyclic crisis, which explains the current difficulties to get out of the recession.
«We will have to make the access to credit easier for companies and families»
Although she warns that solutions are different for all nations, Borgeaud Pierazzi proposes the increase of foreign investments and exports as the two main foundations to support the recovery.
“For that, access to credit for companies and families would have to be easier. We would also have to improve the general attitude facing competitiveness, creating an attractive environment for business. That is achieved through institutional stability, dynamic working relations, an economy flexible to cycles and better opportunities to create new businesses”, she states.
Even if all these improvements are achieved, Spain’s position in the world raking of competitiveness will remain burdened while she continues with such high unemployment levels. “It will be a problem that can take years to be solved”, admits the economist of the business school located in the Swiss city of Lausanne. In fact, during the last five years, when unemployment has been the great national problem, the ceiling for Spain in the ranking has been position 35.
Read the whole report here: