Sustainable Competitiveness index
The Sustainable Competitiveness Index (SCI) project was initiated in 2010 by the World Economic Forum's Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance. The SCI is a composite indicator which measures the drivers of long-term competitiveness. The project was officially launched on October 5, 2011, ahead of the Forum's Summit on the Global Agenda 2011.
Competitiveness research at the World Economic Forum
The SCI draws on the Forum's expertise in studying and benchmarking competitiveness. The findings of this research have been featured in an annual publication since 1979, when the first Report on the Competitiveness of the European Industry studying 16 countries was launched. With coverage becoming global, the Report then changed its name to become The 'Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). The 2011-2012 edition of the GCR covers 142 economies.
The Forum defines competitiveness as "the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country", in an effort to understand and measure the drivers of economic prosperity. The current framework is the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The GCI is a comprehensive composite indicator that covers 12 areas, the 'pillars' of competitiveness: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. With regard to a time horizon, the GCI considers the drivers of productivity that are important over the short to medium term.
Origin and objectives of the SCI project
The driving force behind the SCI project is the Forum's belief that over the longer term, in order to maintain national competitiveness, a number of characteristics become important that are not presently accounted for in the Global Competitiveness Index. This includes elements such as changing demographics, social cohesion, and environmental stewardship. A high-level advisory board has been working with the Forum on this critical issue over the past year.
A goal of the work is to highlight the relationship between competitiveness and sustainability while isolating the shorter and longer-term effects, which makes it possible to compare and contrast those countries that are not only preparing well for a short to medium term future, but also for the longer term, and those that are proving less adept at doing so. Another way of looking at this issue is that countries might face a number of vulnerabilities which could be sources of instability tomorrow, and thus erode their competitiveness over time.
Definition and framework
The SCI intends to measure sustainable competitiveness, defined as
"the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country while ensuring the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
The SCI framework builds on the GCI and includes all the indicators included in the GCI framework. A preliminary version of the SCI framework contains five main components: Human capital, Market conditions, Technology and innovation, Policy environment and enabling conditions, and Physcial environment. Each component in turn comprises a number of categories (or 'pillars'). The preliminary thinking and output of the project is presented in a special chapter in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012.
The Forum intends to evolve this framework based on the ongoing dialogue with experts.
SCI preliminary framework
Source: World Economic Forum.
The SCI project being in its infancy, the Forum has not yet released a rankings for the SCI. More work is needed before publicising any rankings. The organisation highlights the several concepts that are not captured in the SCI because of lack of data, or because the relationship between the factor and sustainable competitiveness is not yet clearly established. The Forum intends to update and refine its thinking and methodology over time, integrating feedback and the latest research on an ongoing basis. For the time being, only scores and ranks of the indicators included in the framework of the SCI have been released.
- ↑ World Economic Forum, press release (October 5, 2011) available here http://www.weforum.org/NR_SCI2011
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 World Economic Forum. Ed. K. Schwab. The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012. Geneva: World Economic Forum.
"The Long-Term View: Developing a Framework for Assessing Sustainable Competitiveness" (PDF) in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 (pp 51-74)
Sustainable Competitiveness Index project page at the World Economic Forum
Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance at the World Economic Forum