GENEVA: China continues to lead the way among so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging economies in the annual Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday.
The Geneva-based body said China had solidified its position among the top 30 most competitive economies in the world, improving by one place to 29th this year.
Brazil and India also improved to 56th and 49th respectively, while Russia falls by 12 places to 63rd.
The rising of Chinese mainland in the competitiveness ranking is mainly due to its enormous market and high growth rates in recent years, according to the report, which ranked a total of 133 economies this year.
In addition, the Asian country's business environment and capacity to innovate are also improving quickly. The country also enjoys an enviable fiscal situation, which allows the government to stimulate internal demand, invest in infrastructure, and pursue economic reforms.
But as China moves up the development ladder, its competitive edge can no longer be based on the use of cheap factors of production alone and increasingly must be based on efficiency improvements, the report said.
According to the report, Switzerland has become the most competitive economy in the world, while the United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability.
Other economies in the top 10 include Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Canada and the Netherlands.
A number of escalating weaknesses have taken their toll on the US competitiveness ranking and brought it down from the top position, said the report.
The WEF has been issuing its annual Global Competitiveness Report since 1979. The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and a comprehensive survey of business leaders worldwide.