On September 5, the World Economic Forum released the 2012-2013
edition of its Global Competitiveness Report. The Report uses
financial and statistical data as well as executive opinion surveys
to rank countries on a wide variety of metrics related to social
and economic competitiveness. Canada was ranked 14th overall, down
two places from its result in 2011-2012.
Of interest to businesses and competition counsel, Canada ranked
21st overall in the "effectiveness of anti-monopoly
policy" category. Respondents to the executive opinion survey
were asked to what extent they felt that anti-monopoly policy
promoted competition in their respective countries, on a scale of
one to seven (with a score of seven meaning that anti-monopoly
policy "effectively promote[d] competition"). The mean
score was 4.0. Canada scored 4.9, beneath countries such as the
U.S. (also 4.9; 17th overall) and the U.K. (5.2; 10th overall), and
even Qatar (5.3; 8th overall) and South Africa (5.3; 6th overall).
The honour of 'most effective anti-monopoly policy' went to
Norway, with a score of 5.7.
Survey respondents were also asked about the extent of market
dominance in their countries, again on a seven-point scale (with
1.0 indicating that corporate activity was "dominated by a few
business groups" and 7.0 indicating that it was "spread
among many firms"). Canada ranked 13th, with a score of 5.0.
Higher scorers included the U.S. (5.2; 9th overall and the U.K.
(5.5; 6th overall). The top scorer in this category was
Switzerland, with a score of 5.8. (Incidentally, Switzerland was
the highest-ranked country on the overall competitiveness
Although the use of survey data presents obvious limitations in
assessing the true impact of Canada's competition laws, the
results may indicate a relative unhappiness among businesses with
the effectiveness of the Canadian competition regime in promoting
competition. The Report lists "inefficient government
bureaucracy" as the number one most problematic factor for
doing business in Canada.
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