Taiwan has the world's sixth most competitive economy, according to the 2003 World Competitiveness Yearbook, released yesterday by the noted Lausanne, Switzerland-based business school IMD.
Taiwan's economic rating was one notch up from last year's standing.
This year's IMD's ranking is split into two for the first time this year, separating economies with over 20 million inhabitants from those countries with smaller populations.
The competitiveness ranking of large economies places the US ahead of Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Germany and Taiwan, in that order. Finland tops the list of 29 smaller economies, followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Sweden.
In terms of overall economic performance, the US ranks first with China in second place, while Taiwan rises to 11th from 17th place last year.
As for government efficiency, Taiwan's ranking advanced to sixth from last year's ninth slot. In this category, Australia beat the US to claim the top slot.
In the business efficiency and infrastructure construction categories, Taiwan's rankings remained unchanged at fourth and seventh, respectively.
Taiwan ranks sixth in terms of technological infrastructure construction, while its ratings in business adaptability and practical management are third and fifth, respectively.
The IMD report points out that Asian economies overall remained dynamic last year.
The report warned that the outbreak of SARS is expected to have "dire consequences" for Asian competitiveness in next year's ranking. It predicted a 60 percent decline in the region's tourist industry revenues, adding to various other long-term woes.