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By Mark Scott
As the global economy struggles back from the worst recession in decades, which countries are best placed to profit from the recovery? In its 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook, the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, sheds some light on that question. By crunching economic, financial, and social statistics from 58 countries worldwide, IMD breaks down the results into four categories: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure. Nations are then ranked within those categories for everything from the quality of their research and development to the liquidity of their capital markets to the domestic penetration of high-speed Internet broadband. This year, IMD also added a "debt stress test" that identified which countries have the highest debt levels relative to GDP and will need the most years to pay off those obligations.
Click on to see which countries have finished in the top 10 of the 2010 IMD rankings as the world's most competitive countries, as well as a selection of lower-ranked countries of interest.