For the last 40 years, the Executive Opinion Survey (the Survey) has been a key ingredient of the Global Competitiveness Report series and other Forum benchmarking activities. It is the longest-running and most extensive survey of its kind and provides a yearly evaluation of critical aspects of competitiveness for which statistical data is missing because it is either impossible or extremely difficult to measure on a global scale. The aim of the Survey is to capture reality as well as possible, and business leaders are arguably the best positioned to assess the business environment in which they operate.
Through the Survey, respondents are asked to evaluate the situation for specific domains at the country level—such as the appetite for entrepreneurial risk, the level of corruption, and the extent of the skills gap. The results complement other statistical data to provide a more complete assessment of the business environment and the drivers of productivity.
The indicators derived from the Survey are used in the calculation of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 (GCI 4.0) in addition to a number of other World Economic Forum indexes, such as the Global Gender Gap Index and the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index; and several publications, including The Inclusive Growth and Development Report and The Global Risks Report; as well as many Forum initiatives. A truly unique source of data, the Survey has also long been used by numerous international and nongovernmental organizations, think tanks and academia for empirical and policy work.
The 2019 edition of the Survey captured the views of 16,936 business executives in 139 economies between January and April 2019. Following the data editing process described below, a total of 12,987 responses were retained. In an effort to move away from paper surveys, this year more than half of the retained surveys (59.1%) were completed online (see Figure 1). The 2019 edition of the Survey was made available in 41 languages (see Table 1). Three additional countries are surveyed in 2019 compared to the previous edition (Barbados, Gabon, Madagascar) and two countries are not covered this year (Liberia and Sierra Leone).
Figure 1: Descriptive statistics of the Executive Opinion Survey 2019
The Survey comprises 78 questions. Most questions ask respondents to evaluate on a scale of 1 (considered among the worst in the world) to 7 (considered among the best in the world) the performance on various topics of the country where the respondent operates. The questions are organized into 10 topical areas: Infrastructure; Technology; Financial Environment;