At least in a few areas Canada was declared number 1 in the 2008-2009 Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum. Overall, Canada was 10th out of 134 countries, up from 13th last year.
And now let’s see the areas where Canada is number 1. Drum roll, please:
1. Soundness of banks
This is a big one. We often complain about our banks for good reason. Their wide array of fees catches us coming and going. But, at least we don’t have to worry about whether our money will be there when we want it. Canadian banks are much less likely to go bankrupt than banks in most of the rest of the world.
2. Number of procedures required to start a business
This one surprised me. Although I recall that starting my own business was a fairly easy exercise, I just don’t think of Canada as being business-friendly. I guess our fairly high tax levels are a separate matter from the amount of paperwork needed to register a new business.
3. Personal Computers
Apparently, Canada has a high level of technological readiness. Again, I would not have guessed that Canada would outdo the US on this one, but the US is only 6th.
4. Malaria incidence
One of the advantages of a cold northern climate is a lack of malaria. The toll taken by malaria in tropical areas is enormous. This is one area where I would be happy to see the rest of the world catch up to Canada.