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Survey: Switzerland World's Most Competitive Economy

The World Economic Forum has listed Switzerland as having the world's most competitive economy, replacing the United States.

In its annual report, the Geneva-based research institution Tuesday praised Switzerland's highly sophisticated business culture and its laws protecting intellectual property.

Finland, Sweden and Denmark ranked second, third and fourth. The survey said the three Scandinavian nations all have budget surpluses and low levels of public debt.

Singapore led Asian nations in competitiveness, ranking fifth.

The United States fell from the top position to sixth. The forum said growing trade imbalances hurt Washington's economic standing.

Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain rounded out the top 10.

The World Economic Forum rates 125 countries based on a variety of factors - including market efficiency, education and training, innovation, infrastructure and technological development.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.