World Economic Forum 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Report
The World Economic Forum (WEF) , based in Switzerland, issues an annual global competitiveness report that profiles, in detail, more than 140 countries world-wide. The report compares key factors that determine the ease of doing business in each country as well as the major obstacles.
Associations can make use of this information to help identify which countries hold the best opportunities for growth and those that have serious obstacles and risks.
NOTE: It is far easier for most associations to establish a presence in many countries around the world than it is for a commercial company to establish itself. We look at how best to use the WEF report from a non-profit association perspective.
The 12 Pillars
The WEF analyzed information from over 160 partner organizations, 5,600 international organizational data points, and surveys of more than 15,000 business executives. Information was analyzed in 12 critical categories, or "pillars" which were then weighted and ranked.
All 144 countries that were analyzed (representing 99% of the world's Gross Domestice Product - GDP) were then ranked according to their aggregate score.
Switzerland, Singapore and the United States ranked in the top 3 positions, followed by Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.
The ranking table provides a prioritized list of the most advanced and mature global markets through to some of the most challenged, least developed nations and is a good starting point for assocoations to prioritize future growth markets.
The next most useful section in the report contains concise, 2 page country profiles. These include a very brief country summary in the header that lists population and GDP (overall GDP, per person and per persion with a purchase price equivalent to allow for currency and local buying power differences - otherwise known as "PPP").
It also includes a graph showing the historical development of GDP compared with other countries that are in a similar stage of development.
The WEF report allocates countries to one of five stages of development (three main categories and two transitional stages) and is a very useful tool for associations that are targeting countries with a certain profile. The groups are;
Factor Driven - These are economies driven by agriculture, raw materials and natural resources with little value added domesticly. These are the least developed and often the poorest countries.
Transition from Factor Driven to Efficiency Driven
Efficiency Driven - These are your classic emerging economy countries that are developing a local middle class and consumer driven economy. They also are typically opening up to greater inward investment, dvelopment and market liberalization.
Transition from Efficiency Driven to Innovation Driven
Innovation Driven - Innovation driven countries include the world's most advanced nations and are characterized by very strong domestic, consumer and services driven economies. These are also the wealthiest populations and are home to the most mature markets for associations.
Depending on the purpose of your association and your target audience, you might decide to focus on any one or more of these development stages.
The graph that appears on the bottom of the first page of the country profile ranks, in order of frequency, the main obstacles to doing business in that particular country. Obstacles include a wide range of factors, including; corruption, political instability, lack of an educated workforce, crime, inflation, lack of access to financing and poor public health, among many others.
The main advantage to this graph is that it alerts associations to be on alert for the particular types of obstacles that are most prevalent when entering or expanding in a given country.
The World Economic Forum 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Report is a powerful resource of important, current, country specific information. Together with relevant market reasearch, it helps an association to better identify and prepare for international growth opportunities in a very targeted, proactive approach.