GENEVA — Boosted by improvements in innovation and technology, the U.S. economy has moved up two slots, to third place — behind top performers Switzerland and Singapore — according to the Word Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings in its 2014 business survey.
“As it recovers from the crisis, the United States can build on the many structural features that make its economy extremely productive,” said the WEF’s “Global Competitiveness Report: 2014-2015,” which polled, worldwide, more than 14,000 business leaders in the 144 economies reviewed.
The report said the U.S. economy posted improvement in a number of areas, especially in innovation.
The WEF report ranks countries based on the business-leader survey and 12 determinants of competitiveness, including the macro economy, goods-market efficiency, innovation, business sophistication, infrastructure and technological readiness.
Benat Bilbao, WEF senior economist, told reporters, “The global recovery is better [than the U.S. recovery], and there are many countries that are making good strides to come out of the crisis…and the United States is improving the situation with economic growth coming back to the country.”
Regarding competitiveness in key textile and apparel exporting countries, the WEF report shows that only a few posted gains in global competitiveness: For example, Vietnam was up two slots, to 68th; Bangladesh was up one position, to 109th; Indonesia was up four places, to 34th, and China was up one, to 28th. However, in the case of China, the report notes, the country “is no longer an inexpensive location” for labor-intensive activities such as apparel production, and it is losing manufacturing jobs to other less-developed nations.
The report said many other key suppliers witnessed declines or stagnation in global competitiveness: for example, India was down 11 rankings, to 71st; Sri Lanka was down eight, to 73rd; Cambodia was down seven, to 95th, and Turkey was down one, to 45th.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion