GENEVA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The United States topped the 2014 world competitiveness ranking of 60 economies, followed by Switzerland, Singapore, China's Hong Kong and Sweden, the IMD, a leading business school based in Switzerland, announced on Thursday.
Arturo Bris, director of the IMD world competitiveness center, said the rankings were driven by reviving growth in the United States, partial recovery in Europe and struggles for some large emerging markets.
The United States topped IMD's rankings two years in a row, signaling the resilience of its economy, better employment numbers and its dominance in technology and infrastructure, according to the report.
Switzerland retained its second place, outranking the rest of Europe. Singapore rose two notches to third place, surpassing China's Hong Kong which fell one place to the fourth.
The rankings showed gradual economic recovery in Europe led to a better performance in the region with Europe accounting for several top-ten economies, namely Switzerland (2nd), Sweden (5th), Germany (6th), Denmark (9th) and Norway (10th).
In Asia, the Chinese mainland fell two notches to 23rd place, partially owing to concerns about its business environment.
The competitiveness of Japan continued to increase due to a weaker currency that has improved its competitiveness abroad, and was ranked 21st, three notches up compared to last year.
Elsewhere in Asia, China's Taiwan was placed 13th, falling two notches from 2013.
As for big emerging markets, Russia climbed four notches to 38th place, while most of the rest slid in the rankings as economic growth and foreign investment and infrastructure remained inadequate: India (44th, four places down) and Brazil (54th, three places down) suffered from inefficient labor markets and ineffective business management.
The IMD World Competitiveness Center also tallied up their business images abroad in this year's report. Singapore, Germany and Ireland topped the first three places on the list.
"While economic performance changes from year to year, perceptions are longer term and shift more gradually. They can also lead to a virtuous circle of better image and better economic performance," said Bris.