Countries / Territories

What is competitiveness

  • Many factors influence the competitiveness of an economy on domestic and international markets. ITC provides a holistic view of enterprise competitiveness in the following definition:

    Competitiveness is the demonstrated ability to design, produce and commercialize an offer that fully, uniquely and continuously fulfils the needs of targeted market segments, while connecting with and drawing resources from the business environment, and achieving a sustainable return on the resources employed.

    The importance of competitiveness in driving firm survival, growth and trade make it a key element in economic development. For this reason ITC has developed an analytical framework to understand firm competitiveness and how it can be improved over time. It is comprised of three pillars that drive the capacity to be competitive across three levels of the economy.

    What is competitiveness? 

    The levels of competitiveness

    • Firm capabilities This level assesses whether firms are managed according to best practices, need resources, and whether they have competencies to manage those resources.
    • Business ecosystem This level assesses whether the local business ecosystem, which is made up of business support institutions, supplies enterprises with the resources or competences they need to be competitive.
    • National environment This level assesses the macro-economic and regulatory environment enterprises operate under. The national environment is primarily set by government.

    The pillars of competitiveness:

    • Compete: the static ability to meet market expectations
    • Connect: communications with other actors in the market, getting info on what is happening in the market and what is required.
    • Change: using this information to anticipate market trends, and adapt to them, dynamically changing with the market.

     The levels of competitiveness:

    Each pillar is further subdivided into competitiveness themes that are the subject of the analysis in the publications:

    • Quantity and Cost Requirements
    • Time Requirements
    • Quality requirements
    • Connecting to buyers
    • Connecting to suppliers
    • Connecting to institutions
    • Financial requirements
    • Skills requirements
    • Innovation and intellectual property requirements


  • contact

    For more information, please contact us: smecompetitiveness@intracen.org