Competitiveness Part 1: The Index is Released

5is.jpgOur sister association, The Council on Competitiveness, turns 20 this year and earlier this week they celebrated this important milestone. We congratulate president Deborah Wince-Smith, her Council colleagues and her predecessors on keeping their eye on the ball over the past two decades and bringing a higher level of discourse to the nation’s capital on a topic that is always central to our economic future.

For those not acquainted with the Council, it’s a unique blend of business, academia and labor. The Chairman is a manufacturer, Chad Holliday, Jr. (chairman/CEO at DuPont). The two vice-chairmen are Wayne Clough (president of Georgia Tech) and Doug McCarron (general president of the Carpenters Union). To round it out, the chairman emeritus is Duane Ackerman (chairman, president and CEO at BellSouth).

There is so much interesting stuff that was presented during their one day conference–built around i5: imagination, insight, ingenuity, invention and impact–that we will have to spread this blog report out over several days to really capture it. In general, it was like a breath of fresh air blowing into a stale room because this was not a session devoted to this legislation or that regulation or even to politics. It was all about what the private sector is doing to build an incredibly positive and exciting economy.

Today we want to focus on the report issued by the Council this week–Competitiveness Index: Where America Stands. Michael Porter, the esteemed Harvard University Business School professor and author, helped shape the report. Its megapoints:

1. Rapidly changing markets abroad (like China and India) have changed the context of competitivness for the United States.
2. Global changes have benefited Americans overall with rising incomes and generally rising employment.
3. Strong US economic growth and rapid productivity gains underpin the U.S. role in the global economy. The US remains the largest manufacturing nation.
4. A culture of innovation and entrepreneurship are the foundations of our world economic leadership.

Yesterday’s Washington Post had an excellent summary of the report’s main points and I’d recommend you click here and read the piece by Lori Montgomery.

In Part 2, we’ll drill down on the four foundations of U.S. competitiveness and prosperity. Check back tomorrow!