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ERR News - Estonia has climbed two places to reach 33rd place in the World Economic Forum's latest competitiveness rankings. The organization's newly-released Global Competitiveness Report ranked the country the highest among the ten nations that joined the EU in 2004.

Commenting on the report, Heido Vitsur, an economist for the Estonian Development Fund, said that the most significant change was in the country's macroeconomic situation.

"Estonia's only strength this year was in the macroeconomic indicators – last year we were in 47th place and we have jumped to 18th place. This is an absolutely unprecedented leap," he told a press conference today.

He said that no other nation had made such a leap in the macroeconomic sphere. "Whether that's good or bad, everyone will have to decide for themselves," he said.

Out of the 139 countries studied, Estonia ranked second in per capita mobile phone subscriptions and second in Internet access in schools, behind the United Arab Emirates and Iceland respectively.

The most problematic factors for doing business in Estonia were found to be access to financing, an inadequately educated workforce and tax rates.

Switzerland topped the overall rankings, followed by Sweden and Singapore, while the United Stated fell two positions to fourth place due to macroeconomic imbalances and what the report termed "weakening of the United States’ public and private institutions, as well as lingering concerns about the state of its financial markets."


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