Denmark in top ten on world competitiveness list

Denmark has one of the world’s ten most competitive economies in 2018, according to an index compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Denmark in top ten on world competitiveness list
File photo: Anne Bæk/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark is 10th in the ranking, above Nordic neighbours Finland and Norway and just behind Sweden on the Global Competitiveness Report 2018. The three top nations for competitiveness are the United States, Singapore and Germany.

The index measures 98 indicators in 140 countries. Economies are divided into 12 ‘pillars’ or drivers of productivity in order to determine how close the economy is to the ideal state or ‘frontier’ of competitiveness, WEF writes on its website.

“We are in the fourth industrial revolution, where winning economies have good, green innovations systems, economic stability and flexible labour markets. That‘s why Denmark is in the top ten,” Stig Yding Sørensen, senior specialist with Teknologisk Institut, WEF’s Danish partner organisation, told Ritzau.

WEF’s assessment means that it finds Denmark’s economy to be well-equipped to thrive in current global economic conditions.

But Denmark was found lagging on one of the parameters used to compile the index: the international reputation of its universities.

“That’s where we are in 30th place. We don’t have a Stanford or an Oxford. So if we could do more to attract internationally-recognised researchers to Denmark, that would improve our reputation,” Sørensen said.

The WEF report is based on 12,000 survey interviews with business leaders around the world, as well as national data on aspects ranging from working hours to number of patents.

Aarhus University economics professor Christian Bjørnskov said that the report is normally used by a small, but powerful sector.

“It is typically used by administrators and a number of special interests, including politicians, as a kind of catalogue of ideas. The advice in the report is not necessarily followed, but can be used for inspiration,” Bjørnskov told Ritzau.

WEF has produced the report annually since 1979.

READ ALSO: Denmark moves up on list of world's most competitive business nations


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.