TALLINN - The International Institute for Management Development has ranked Estonia 26th among 60 national and regional economies, a slight rise but overall in line with expectations.
The Lausanne-based think-tank used government efficiency, fiscal balance and related matters as the most important criteria for evaluating the competitiveness of different economies. The ranking, just two notches higher than last year, did not surprise analysts.
"Generally speaking, the result is in line with expectations because 2004 was a good year for the Estonian economy, and we significantly improved our position in terms of general condition of the economy," said Leev Kuum, senior researcher at the Estonian Institute of Economic Research told the Baltic News Service.
"Other changes perhaps weren't as important," added Kuum, who took part in the survey.
Overall, the Baltic country's competitive situation has been rather stable and improving as many other countries performed worse in 2004. At the same time, many emerging countries have boosted their ranking, Kuum explained.
"Though Estonia has held higher places in the table during previous years, not a lot of attention should be paid to this since new developing regions have emerged since then," he said.
The IMD's World Competitiven-ess Yearbook reviews 60 national and regional economies, offering an overall ranking, and then rankings by population, peer group and regions. Hard data for the survey is taken from international and regional organizations and private institutes.
Estonia also continues to hold a strong position in terms of FDI (foreign direct investment) and income growth. Yet the development of infrastructure is tending to stall, which is also indicated by Estonia's 39th place by the respective criteria.