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No. 4 Switzerland

Adrian Moser/Bloomberg

No. 4 Switzerland

Change Since 2009 Ranking: none
Real GDP Growth, 2009: –1.5 percent
Per Capita GDP, 2009: $41,288

World Competitiveness Rankings:

Economic Performance: 10
Government Efficiency: 3
Business Efficiency: 7
Infrastructure: 3

Switzerland is world famous for its banking system, but the landlocked European country also benefits from a top-notch education system and business-friendly government policies. Its competitiveness and business appeal may be further enhanced by the crisis now engulfing Europe: Switzerland's low tax rates could attract more of Europe's wealthy, who face higher levies by cash-strapped governments around the continent that are looking to cut their budget deficits.