Indeed, the UK’s status as a hotbed for high-tech business and the government’s improving fiscal deficit has helped it move up a place in many global rankings.Figures published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that Britain is now the ninth-most competitive economy in the world – second-most competitive when it comes to “technological readiness”. The WEF praised the UK, along with Japan and the US, for “extraordinary and bold” monetary policies, adding that the British economy benefitted from “gains in lower levels of fiscal deficit and public debt”. According to the WEF, lower public borrowing, an efficient labour market and the City’s status as a financial hub had helped Britain increase its ranking. It said: “The UK benefits from an ICT uptake that is one of the highest in the world. That, coupled with a highly competitive and large market, allows for highly sophisticated and innovative businesses to spring up and develop.” George Osborne described Britain’s move up the rankings as “great news”. He added: “The direct link the WEF draw between our credible fiscal policy and our country’s ability to attract business and create jobs is compelling.” The WEF also said Britain had improved its economic performance over the last year, moving it from tenth to ninth place, behind the Netherlands and above Sweden. Britain had a wealth of sophisticated businesses and was willing to adopt the latest technologies, which put it in a healthy position to improve productivity over the next few years, the WEF said. In terms of entrepreneurship, the UK ranks – you guessed it – ninth in the world. The researchers behind the “Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index” (GEDI) suggested that while UK entrepreneurial activity is innovative and enjoys strong cultural support, its full potential may be held back by negative attitudes and a lack of ambition, relative to leading entrepreneurial economies. Zoltan Acs, LSE professor of practice in entrepreneurial development and co-author of the study, said: “The UK ranks a solid ninth in the world and sixth in Europe. This strong performance is supported by a competitive environment, a high level of human capital and a strong tech sector. “While it does better on gender equality then the european average it could do much better in this area. Most of this could be improved by increasing spending on entrepreneurship education.” Furthermore, the UK ranked ninth among the world’s top ten countries with the best pension plans behind Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, and Chile. The UK scored 65 points on “Mercer’s Global Pension Index”, down from 67.6 in 2014, due to the removal of the requirement for people to purchase annuities upon their retirement.
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