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LAUSANNE, Switzerland: November 20, 2017. A new study by the IMD business school says Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium are the best at attracting, developing and retaining top talent.

IMD studyIMD's annual World Talent Ranking assesses the methods countries use to attract and retain the talent to sustain their businesses. The study draws on a survey of thousands of executives from 63 different economies, and more than two decades of data from the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC).

The 2017 ranking suggests Europe continues to dominate with 11 out of the top 15 most talent-competitive economies as Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg make up the rest of the top-ten places. Canada is just out at No.11 followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and the U.S. The UK has dropped one place in the past year to No.21; Qatar entered the list for the first time at No.22 followed by Taiwan (23), Portugal (24), France (27), Japan (31), Spain (32) and Italy (36).

The ranking is based on a country's performance in three main categories - investment and development, appeal and readiness - that assess how it performs in education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.

IMD suggests Europe's high level of investment in primary to tertiary education has allowed countries to develop local talent and at the same time attract foreign, highly-skilled professionals that many European businesses rely upon.

According to WCC director Arturo Bris, the research indicates Germany continues to play a lead role in sustaining the continent's talent competitiveness: "Germany is one of the largest exporters of talent and the country also attracts talent from across the world. Despite criticism from some quarters surrounding immigration, Germany's policies sustain its access to the international talent pool," he noted.

IMD said the U.S. risks losing some of its global competitiveness if it doesn't increase investment in public education compared to the top countries that all share similar indicators - a significant investment in outstanding educational systems, a superior quality of life, and substantial opportunities for career advancement throughout an individual's professional life span.

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