Eight Competitiveness Report 2019


The investment advantage of one country's economy over another is no longer determined by cheap labour or low taxes. For international investors, factors such as political stability, social balance, gender equality, the level of basic education or quality of life are increasingly important. According to the "Eight Competitiveness Report 2019" prepared by the global consulting organization Eight International, which compared data from dozens of international rankings, a common feature of the most competitive and economically efficient countries in the world is a high level of education, a flexible labour market and an excellent health care system. Poland is steadily rising in international rankings mainly due to its macroeconomic situation, however, it is still not perceived as an economically competitive country.  

The "Eight Competitiveness Report 2019" is a result of the work of the Eight Competitiveness Lab think tank, belonging to the global consulting organization Eight International, which was the first to analyse data from rankings prepared by the UN, World Bank, OECD, World Economic Forum, Cornell University, INSEAD & World International Property Organization, Yale, Reporters Without Borders, Transparency International, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy or The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg.  

The "Eight Competitiveness Report 2019" provides a comprehensive insight into the current situation of the 25 largest economies in the world (according to GDP), with particular emphasis on the countries in which the consulting companies co-creating Eight International operate. Eight of them are European countries: Poland, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The other two are Russia and India, two locations strategically important for investors and undergoing rapid economic changes. The report presents the strengths and weaknesses of all these countries against the background of the widest possible range of relevant economic and social factors in 5 categories:   

  • Economic strength - including GDP, productivity, unemployment rate, public debt, budget deficit, imports, exports.
  • Business potential -  e.g. competitiveness, ease of running a business, economic freedom.
  • Political stability and social balance - including income inequality, gender inequality, social progress, corruption, media freedom.
  • Education - e.g. universities, business schools, students' level of education.
  • Health and prosperity - including personal development, health, care for the environment, sense of happiness, positive attitude towards the future.  

It does not exist, and scientists agree that there will never be no such thing as one isolated indicator to provide a reliable picture of a country's economic situation. We therefore felt it necessary to show the broad context in which a country operates. Every day we observe the key business issues faced by global economies as we support investors in their transactions. We know how important for them are not only the basic economic indicators, but also what, generally speaking, affects the quality of work and life in a given country. – explains Grzegorz Piechowiak, Managing Partner at JP Weber, a consulting company that is one of the founders of Eight International.  


The report clearly shows the following correlation: taking care of reasonable values that are important to people translates into economic results of a given country and improves its competitiveness. This, in turn, increases the overall level of happiness and prosperity of the country's inhabitants. Other key conclusions from the analysis of the relationship between the different indicators are as follows:  

  • Openness to international investment is economically viable. There is a significant correlation between economic progress and openness to investment.
  • Freedom of legislation, as well as freedom in its broadest sense, has a direct and statistically proven impact on increasing economic progress. Democracy therefore improves competitiveness. This, in turn, is rewarded by an improvement in democracy.
  • Economic growth has a positive impact on the state of the natural environment. There is a strong link between the sustainable economy and human development. The most developed countries in the world are, in fact, the most sustainable economies.  


Poland, as the largest economy in Eastern Europe, continues to surprise investors with its impressive and sustainable economic growth, which, together with the high quality of infrastructure, makes it climb up the international rankings. This trend, however, does not translate into an increase in Poland's economic competitiveness. This is mainly due to low labour productivity as well as the need for reforms in the legal and tax system and environmental protection.  

Our observations show that Poland still has a certain advantage over other economies, resulting on the one hand from the high competence of our workforce and on the other hand from the availability of cheap labour. However, as our analysis shows, it has an increasingly lower impact on competitiveness. Moreover, the government announces that Poland will aim to build a high wage economy. In addition, other factors are already being improved, especially political stability, which has a great influence on the choice of development directions for our clients. – says Grzegorz Piechowiak.
Poland has a huge potential to be ranked high in the competitiveness ratings. However, we still have to do our homework in such areas as education, health or the broadly understood business environment - he adds.

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