The value of competitiveness is becoming more and more a need for sustainable and social development all over the world.

Globalization has brought opportunities as well as social issues, with the result that politics are looking for new paths for more sustainable growth.

Recently, the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is generating new opportunities that require renewed and more dynamic education systems to adapt skills. It is expected that in the future there will be a wide range of new high-tech jobs and high specialization, along with a new enhancement for so-called soft skills, such as #creativity, #communication, #criticalthinking.

The World Economic Forum introduced the new Global Competitiveness 4.0, a sort of indicator of competitiveness organized into 12 pillars: institutions; infrastructure; TLC; stability; healthcare; skills; product market; job market; financial system; market size; business dynamism; innovation. The index has a score from 0 to 100, with 100 corresponding to the highest level of political objective. The first positions in the ranking are:

  1. USA: 85.6
  2. Singapore: 83.5
  3. Germany: 82.8

We find China in 20th place with 72.6; Russia at 43rd with 65.6; India at 58th with 62.0.

The issue of competitiveness is central. Let us try to better understand.

Competitiveness is not an exclusive fact. All economies must pursue productivity if they want to grow faster in the future and build #resilience. Countries must work at all the mentioned pillars, without excluding any of them.

Investment in people is a social and economic benefit. Competitiveness does not exclude social inclusion at all: health, education and skills are the key factors of productivity. With the right skills, people can become agents that drive and manage changes rather than undergo them.

The creation of an innovation ecosystem goes beyond R & D. Innovation has become a priority for all the countries. Yet, there is still a long way to go: good ideas can move to commercialization if there are the ability of companies to foster disruptive ideas (the US teach), the right attitude to risk (Israel is top), the gender diversity (Canada leads), the flat organizations (Denmark and Sweden are examples).

Institutions still play a decisive role. Security, property rights, social capital, transparency, corporate governance, are still the Achilles’ heel that hinders or slows competitiveness, development and social growth in many countries. There is a global convergence on the need for a more holistic model of economic progress that promotes higher standards of living for all without jeopardizing future generations.

In a moment of constant change, there is a need for constant agility and adaptability of all the stakeholders – individuals, governments and companies. For governments, in particular, orientation to future involves essential aspects such as regulatory adaptation to digital models, a stable environment, the streamlining of procedures. The government of Singapore is the most reactive to the future, followed by Luxembourg and the United States. The United Arab Emirates and four other Gulf countries appear among the top 10, while the governments of Brazil, Greece and Venezuela are considered among the least ready.

Achieving equality, sustainability and growth together is possible, but requires proactive and forward-looking leadership!

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