An independent study by the IMD Competitiveness Center which analyses a country’s capacity to create sustainable wealth ranked that Catalan economy 38th out of 61 economies, placing it at the “forefront of Mediterranean Europe”. Topping the list are countries such as the United States, Singapore and Switzerland, while Spain trails behind Catalonia in 40th place.
The study, which was based on 338 statistical indicators and interviews with more than 60 business executives, found that the most characteristic feature of the study to be that “if the lowest 40 indicators for Catalonia were raised to the average of the 60 countries, the Catalan economy would advance to 27th place” alongside France and Belgium.
Most of these weak indicators were found to be “circumstantial and not structural” asserted Felip Puig, “therefore they are more dependent on the development of the economic situation and not on structural measures”. It should also be noted that many of these indicators improved with the past year’s growth in GDP, the increased investment and with development in the labour market.
The study also exposed critical aspects that were being addressed by the Catalan Government such as the Law on Transparency; the Law on Bureaucratic Simplification, to tackle obstacles to starting economic initiatives; along with other laws reforming the legal system, the labour market, and the fight against the informal economy. It should also be noted that many of these reforms should theoretically fall under the responsibility of the Spanish State’s legal framework.
Furthermore, this section of the study also highlighted Catalonia’s above average ranking in terms of equal opportunities, social cohesion, gender equality policies and the presence of women in both the private and public sectors.
Lastly, in the report’s final statement, the business school asserted that Catalonia “has a competitive economy and is moving in the right direction to improve it. Economic growth, together with institutional reforms, should lead naturally to significant improvements in Catalonia’s ability to face the demands of the world economy”. “Ultimately” the report concluded, “this should produce wellbeing, prosperity and competitiveness”.