In the report, we found that small developed states and separate customs territories (World Trade Organization definition) were economically more successful than their larger peers and that, importantly, they tended to be more globalized. Further, we found that they typically are the leaders in putting “intangible infrastructure” factors like education, technology and healthcare to work in driving growth. We created a “CS Country Strength Index” and found that six of the top ten countries by “strength” are small ones.
Small countries provide an indication of the future for large countries, and a test bed as to what works and what does not. One innovation in this report is to measure the way in which small countries lead larger ones in terms of economic performance. Within Europe, we find that for fiscal and debt-related indicators, small countries appear to be “canaries in the coal mine.” Singapore, it seems, also plays this role on a global basis.