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Competitiveness: Ranking by IMD

The results of the participation of Kazakhstan in the rankings of the international Institute of Management Development (IMD), one more Guru in the area of study of the world competitiveness, can be regarded as certain compensation for Kazakhstan’s decline in the WEF rankings. Starting being covered by the IMD rankings in 2008, we were ranked 39th out of 55 countries. In 2009, our country went up to 36th, and this year we have been 33rd among the 58 states-participants of the ranking. Thus, our ranking has risen by 6 points for the three years. This article familiarizes our readers with the combined data on the national competitiveness of Kazakhstan, which was helpfully provided to the Kazakhstan magazine by IMD’ World Competitiveness Center Deputy Director Suzanne Rosselet-McCauley.


The Institute of Management Development releases its annual analytical study – the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook – in cooperation with research institutes of the member countries and international organizations, starting from 1989. Experts from Lausanne consider competitiveness as the ability of the nation to create and maintain the environment, in which competitive business emerges. The final position of every member state of the IMD rankings is made up by analyzing 327 criteria (to compare, the WEF uses just 111 indicators). They are grouped into 20 subfactors, which in their turn are combined into four key factors: 1) Economic performance, 2) Government efficiency, 3) Business efficiency, and 4) Infrastructure.

One more distinctive feature that differs from the WEF rankings is a lesser number of states covered in the ranking. For example, only 58 states were covered by the IMD studies in 2010. The explanation is that two thirds of 327 criteria applied for evaluation use hard data. To gather this volume of statistical information on many countries of the world does not seem possible.

Apart from the major ranking (Table 1), IMD experts carry out a separate ranking of countries with a population of less or more than 20 million people, and ranking of the countries by three geographical groups (Europe – Middle East – Africa, Asian-Pacific region, and America).

The World Competitiveness Yearbook involves also the profiles of national competitiveness. Each of them includes Competitiveness Landscape, showing the weak and strong points of the state by applying 20 subfactors. Moreover, it contains the improvements and declines of the country on every of the four key factors, and a full list of the countries results by 327 criteria.

Leaders of the ranking

For the first time for the last few decades, the USA went down two points from the top place in the IMD ranking, following Singapore (1st) and Hong-Kong (2nd). Owing to the high demand in Asia, Australia (5th), Taiwan (8th) and Malaysia (10th) are also amongst the top ten countries. Switzerland that has good economic performance is ranked 4th. The Scandinavian model of the economy is represented with dignity by Sweden (6th) and Norway (9th). Among the largest “traditional” economies Germany (16th) has the leading position, having outstripped Great Britain (22nd), France (24th), Japan (27th), and Italy (40th). China, a quite expected fact, looks more competitive (18th) than the other countries of the BRIC block – India (31st), Brazil (38th) and Russia (51st). The last in the IMD rankings list are Ukraine (57th) and Venezuela (58th).

Our results

Having risen three points up in 2010, Kazakhstan turned out to be more competitive out of the 5 post-Soviet states, ranked by the IMD. We are holding a higher position in the ranking than Estonia (34th), Lithuania (43rd), Russia and Ukraine, also Spain (36th), Portugal (37th), South Africa (44th), and Turkey (48th). In the list of countries with a population of less than 20 million people, Kazakhstan is up from 23rd to 19th, while in its geographical block (Europe – Middle East – Africa) – from 22nd to 19th.

In general, today the Kazakhstani competitiveness is evaluated by the IMD at 63.42% of that of Singapore. Speaking of our closest competitor states, taking into account particular factors, by the economic performance factor we are ranked in place between Slovenia (42nd) and Finland (44th), by government efficiency – between Ireland (19th) and South Africa (21st), by business efficiency – between China (28th) and Belgium (30th), and by infrastructure – between Russia (38th) and Slovakia (40th).

The indicators of Kazakhstan by the 20 subfactors are presented in Chart 1, while the list of strengths and weaknesses of our competitiveness are given in the relevant graphic blocks.

For more detailed information, please refer to


Table of contents
Partnership without Borders  Charles Monk 
· 2016 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5
· 2015 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2014 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2013 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2012 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2011 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2010 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5/6
· 2009 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5  №6
· 2008 №1  №2  №3  №4  №5/6
· 2007 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2006 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2005 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2004 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2003 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2002 №1  №2  №3  №4
· 2001 №1/2  №3/4  №5/6
· 2000 №1  №2  №3

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