Geneva: The US has topped the 2013 world competitiveness ranking of 60 economies, followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong, a report said Thursday.
According to the IMD business school in Switzerland, the US regained the top spot this year after being ranked second in 2012 due to its rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies, Xinhua reported.
Switzerland rose to the second place this year from last year's third.
In Asia, China and Japan also saw their competitiveness ranking rise by two and three notches to the 21st and 24th place respectively.
In Europe, against the context of a stalled eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany were the most competitive.
These countries' success was built on export-oriented manufacturing, diversified economies, strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fiscal discipline, according to the report.
The rest of Europe was heavily constrained by austerity programmes that were delaying recovery, the annual report noted.
Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said the debate on austerity measures was back in focus.
"Structural reforms are unavoidable, but growth remains a prerequisite for competitiveness. In addition, the harshness of austerity measures too often antagonizes the population. In the end, countries need to preserve social cohesion to deliver prosperity," said Garelli.
It said BRICS economies experienced mixed fortunes.
The report said emerging economies in general remained highly dependent on the delayed global economic recovery, but "BRICS remain lands of opportunities".
In Latin America, the rankings showed that Mexico, which ranked the 32nd, has seen a small revival in its competitiveness but it needed to be confirmed over time and by the continuous implementation of structural reforms.