Singapore, Switzerland, and Denmark top the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC) ranking, followed by Ireland and Hong Kong. The adoption of AI, the risk of a global economic slowdown, and geopolitical conflicts are three trends that will have the biggest impact on companies this year, according to ECO.

Portugal has not performed so well in terms of global competitiveness since 2021, having surpassed Spain in this year's edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC) ranking, compiled based on surveys of 6,612 executives, between March and May 2024, and the analysis of 164 statistical data, which analyses indicators such as infrastructure and economic performance in 67 economies.

Spain is in the 40th position when in the last two years it was in 36th place. Portugal rises three positions, to 36th place, recovering its 2021 performance, after 42nd place obtained in 2022 and 39th in 2023.

The increases are common to the four key indicators of the study: infrastructure (32nd to 26th), the one that records the best results; followed by economic performance (rises from 42nd to 39th), business efficiency (41st to 39th), and, finally, government efficiency (43rd to 41st), points out the study.

“The country obtained its best scores in matters of education (21st), technological infrastructures (24th), health and the environment (25th), scientific framework (25th), business legislation (25th ), and international trade (25th)”, says a statement.

Fiscal policy (58th), business management practices (46th), productivity and efficiency (45th), labour market (45th), domestic economy (44th), and finance (44th) are the indicators where the country scores worst.


Among the main improvements compared to last year, with regard to economic performance and competitiveness in general, the study highlights “population growth, the budget surplus, the current balance of public accounts and developments in the field of transparency, among other factors". The declining indicators include, for example, “real growth in GDP per capita, real GDP growth, the so-called “brain drain”, the risk of political instability and long-term growth in employment”.

“Ensuring a sustainable level of GDP growth that allows a sustainable increase in average real income, promoting sectoral diversification of the economy, and resolving the potential problems of future excessive dependence on tourism” are among the warnings that the study points out for this year in Portugal.

“These strategies can boost the competitiveness of companies, creating the right environment to attract investment and jobs with greater added value”, he points out, also defending the adoption of important reforms in the public sector in areas such as health, justice, education, social security, and fiscal and regulatory level.

Singapore regains leadership

Singapore leads the ranking — recovering its position from 2020 — dethroning Denmark, which drops to 3rd position, due to a drop in its economic performance. Switzerland occupies second place in the ranking, thanks to the improvement in its economic performance and company efficiency, and the maintenance of its leadership in terms of public administration and infrastructure efficiency.

In the Top 10 are also Ireland (4th), Hong Kong (5th), and Sweden, which rose two places to 6th, ahead of the United Arab Emirates (7th), Taiwan (8th), the Netherlands, which falls from 6th to 9th position in one year, and Norway, which rises four positions to 10th position.