Canada Falls to Lowest Rank Ever on World’s Most Competitive Economies Survey

Canada Falls to Lowest Rank Ever on World’s Most Competitive Economies Survey

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2019 named Canada the 13th most competitive country out of 67 nations, the lowest ranking for the “Great White North” since the annual survey began in 1997.

Canada dropped from 10th in 2018 to 13th this year, being outperformed by Ireland and Qatar which jumped from 12th to 7th and 14th to 10th, respectively.

Luxembourg fell from 11th to 12th, but still performed better than Canada on the latest edition of the world’s most competitive economies 2019 survey.

Here’s the top 15 countries along with the gain or drop in rankings versus the previous year:

canada economic performance ranking falls in 2019

Top 15 World’s Most Competitive Economies 2019

#1 – Singapore (+2)

#2 - Hong Kong SAR

#3 – USA (-2)

#4 – Switzerland (+1)

#5 – UAE (+2)

#6 – Netherlands (-2)

#7 – Ireland (+5)

#8 – Denmark (-2)

#9 – Sweden

#10 – Qatar (+4)

#11 – Norway (-3)

#12 – Luxembourg (-1)

#13 – Canada (-3)

#14 – China (-1)

#15 – Finland (+1)

IMD World Competitiveness Rankings: Indicators

Established in 1989, the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings evaluates 235 indicators from each of the 63 economies.

A broad range of “hard” economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment and healthcare / education spending are taken into account alongside several “soft” ones such as corruption, globalization and cohesion.

These 235 separate indicators are categorized into four main categories – infrastructure, economic performance, business efficiency and government efficiency – then tallied to give a final score for each nation.


Measures how effective infrastructure delivers basic human, scientific and technological needs of business.

Economic Performance

Measures macroeconomic performance and competitive strengths of the domestic economy.

Business Efficiency

Measures how profitable, innovative and responsible businesses are within each nation.

Government Efficiency

Measures the effect that government policies have on competitiveness

Canada's Natural Resource Sector Loses $196 billion in Investment Over 5 Years

Cost of Lost Investment Since March 2014

A recent report released by Second Street has shown that over the past 5 years (March 2014 – March 2019) Canada’s natural resource sector lost $196 billion worth of investment.

To put that amount of money into perspective, here’s what it could have paid for across the country:

  • Over 140 Pattullo Bridges – British Columbia
  • Over 290 Rogers Place arenas – Alberta
  • Over 600 Mosaic Stadiums – Saskatchewan
  • Over 780 IG Fields – Manitoba
  • Over 35 Scarborough Subway Extensions – Ontario
  • Over 45 Champlain Bridge Corridors – Quebec
  • Over 15 Muskrat Falls Dams – Newfoundland & Labrador

Investors Fleeing Canada in Droves

With controversial policies like Bill C-48 and C-69, legislation that many industry leaders and business gurus say will kill natural resource development opportunities across the country, it’s no wonder that investor capital has fled Canada at record rates.

Another study recently showed that from April 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2019, just $2.8 billion was put into Canadian energy and mining companies by foreign investors. In the first quarter of 2019, that figure was just $128 million.

Compared to when foreign investment peaked in 2013 – at $22 billion – it’s scary to think that investors don’t find Canada an attractive place to do business anymore.

Then there’s the fact that Canadian energy and mining companies are investing elsewhere at record rates. In the first quarter of 2019, they spent a record $15.5 billion in foreign nations. This is double the previous quarterly record.

These are just a few of the facts. According to the graphic below, over $450 billion of lost investment and opportunity has happened for Canada in investment, asset sales, discounted oil prices, foreign oil imports + more.

Canada losing investment and opportunity in natural resource sector = $477 billion

Natural Resources are the Backbone of Canada’s Prosperity

The social and economic consequences of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of lost investment will without a doubt be felt throughout the country. They already are.

Hospitals, schools, teachers, nurses, doctors, social programs, community incentives, renewables and clean tech and innovation are just some of the things that those lost revenues could pay for.

For example, a recent report found that between 2013 and 2018 about $6.2 billion was lost by the federal government in tax revenues due to a lack of pipeline access.

On a dollar basis, this money could have been used to:

  • Hire 20,000 full-time equivalent teaching positions between 2013-2018
  • Build 8 new hospitals across Canada
  • Give all residents of New Brunswick and PEI a full year off from paying federal taxes

We need to start having an informed and balanced conversation about Canada’s natural resources and the benefits they bring to our great country from coast-to-coast.