India moved up one notch to the 49th spot in the World Economic Forum’s annual ranking of the world’s most competitive economies on the strength of its vibrant financial markets and a sound banking sector.

According to ‘The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-10’ released on Tuesday by WEF, Switzerland took the top slot to topple the U.S. to the second position while the next three ranks were accounted for by Singapore, Sweden and Denmark to make up the top five among the 133 countries that figure in the list.

“Switzerland is the most competitive country overtaking the United States, which falls to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability,” the report said.

As for the BRIC nations, India, China and Brazil improved upon their position in the competitiveness index while Russia experienced a sharp drop.

While India moved up one slot to 49 from 50 last year, China also upped its rank to 29 from 30 earlier. Brazil also moved up eight places to 56 in the last ranking. Russia, on the other hand, lost ground and slumped to the 63rd position from 51 last year. Commenting on India’s improvement in ranking, the WEF said: “India’s competitive performance continues to exhibit a rather reversed development pattern. It precedes many advanced economies in terms of business sophistication and innovation capacity…India also boasts bustling financial markets and a sound banking sector, supported by well-functioning institutions”. Taking the various parameters separately, India is ranked 16th in terms of its bustling financial markets, 25th in terms of a sound banking sector and has the 54th position for its well-functioning institutions.

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