The competitive advantage principle can be applied to countries as well (if you are looking for in-depth information read about comparative advantage which is a more complex theory of international economics).
What makes some countries grow faster than others? Why China was able to achieve such an outstanding development over the last decade? The Harvard Working Knowledge website published an interesting interview with Richard Vietor who wrote a book called “How Countries Compete”.
When asked about what fuels a country’s economic growth he answered:
“Key ingredients (also described in my book’s conclusion) include sound fiscal and monetary policies, secure property rights, high savings and investment, an absence of corruption, and exports that are competitive in enough areas to eventually balance imports.”
Vietor also mentioned that China, India and Singapore are the best positioned countries to compete on our global economy. You can read the complete interview here.