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Global study finds UK prepared for change

Global study finds UK prepared for change

Entrepreneurship, technology and economic openness could help offset Brexit vulnerabilities.


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The latest edition of KPMG’s Global Change Readiness Index (CRI) ranks the UK as the nation 10th most ready for change, up from 13th place in 2015. This puts the UK behind countries well recognised for innovation like Singapore (4th) and Germany (9th) but also ahead of global leaders like the US (12th), Hong Kong (13th) and France (20th). Looking at the results in more detail, the UK ranks 7th for enterprise potential, 13th for government capability and 8th for societal robustness.

Commenting on the UK’s results, Karen Briggs Head of Brexit at KPMG said:

As the UK gets to grips with Brexit, some business leaders have become deeply pessimistic, seeing only the potential jeopardy and upheaval that lies ahead. Of course, the risks of Brexit are manifold and very, very real. Indeed many require attention with the greatest sense of urgency. But this study offers a more rounded perspective. It reminds us not to lose sight of the UK’s potent global strengths.

Our country’s spirit of entrepreneurialism, mastery of technology and renowned business environment all point to a long term, collective, ability to rebuild our economy after Brexit. The UK possesses the characteristics to not only withstand, but also capitalise on major change. I hope every business leader is looking not just at the risks of Brexit but also the opportunities.”

The UK’s vulnerabilities are explained by its lowest ranked indicators. These are; environmentally friendly enterprise (81st), security (48th), food and energy security (47th), government fiscal and budgeting (42nd), economic diversification (26th) and our demographic profile (24th). Many of the UK’s strengths are explained by its highest ranking indicators. These are; entrepreneurship (2nd), use of technology (2nd), economic openness (5th), business environment (6th), financial sector (6th) and the regulatory environment (6th).

The most improved UK indicators include: A big improvement in the UK’s fiscal and budgeting ranking which reflects progress since the recession in achieving improved fiscal balances. The study also finds improvements in; government strategic planning, the health of the UK’s financial sector, and the UK’s macro-economic framework.

The Global Change Readiness Index looks at 30 indicators across 136 countries to rank each country’s ability to withstand and capitalise on change. These span economic, political, societal and environmental conditions. You will be able to access the UK stats here.

Commenting on the survey’s overall conclusions, Timothy Stiles, Global Chair of the International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) practice at KPMG said:

More than ever, a country’s welfare depends on the ability to cope with and take advantage of change. This study is an eye-opening view of which countries are best positioned to weather inevitable change, and the factors behind their preparedness.

The highest-ranked countries:

Rank 2017 Country Change since 2015
1 Switzerland +1
2 Sweden +7
3 United Arab Emirates +2
4 Singapore -3
5 Denmark +3
6 New Zealand 0
7 Netherlands +4
8 Finland +2
9 Germany +3
10 United Kingdom +3
11 Norway +7
12 United States +8
13 Hong Kong -10
14 Australia +2
15 Ireland New in 2017
16 Austria 2
17 Canada -3
18 Belgium +1
19 Qatar -11
20 France +7

Additional resources, along with interactive country profiles that allow comparisons between countries, regions and income levels, will be available online at

Why some countries are more change ready than others:

Strictly emphasising enterprise capability, or business environment, is not the answer to a country becoming more change ready. The CRI shows that improving capabilities in Government and People & Civil Society are often key to why some countries are able to climb up the rankings.


Notes to editor:

For further information please contact:

Paul Middleton, KPMG Corporate Communications
T: +44 (0) 20 7694 2180
M: +44 (0) 738 725 7543

KPMG Press Office:

T: +44 (0) 207 694 8773


About KPMG
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 13,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.07 billion in the year ended 30 September 2016. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

About the Change Readiness Index
The Change Readiness Index (CRI) (view the online tool) covers 136 countries. The CRI is structured around three pillars (Enterprise capability, Government capability, People & Civil Society capability), that signify a country’s underlying ability to manage change. The CRI is built on extensive research and analysis, from primary source data and from of more than 1,000 experts and secondary sources ranging including from the World Economic Forum, World Bank International Monetary Fund and United Nations.

About KPMG’s International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) practice
KPMG’s IDAS professionals are among the most experienced providers of services to the public and development sectors in countries and regions where economies and finances are emerging. With local expertise worldwide, KPMG IDAS professionals work closely with emerging market stakeholders – government, civil society and private sector – to create sustainable change and effective, accountable service delivery. KPMG’s IDAS practice encompasses services in four major areas: Enhancing Impact, Ensuring Value-for-Money, Driving Accountability, and Advancing Service Delivery. For more information, please visit:

© 2021 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit

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