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Daily Mail: Global Competitiveness: Pakistan Slides Further

News: Global Competitiveness: Pakistan slides further
Publication: Daily Mail Islamabad
Date: September 7, 2012
Page: (Business)
Web Address: – http://dailymailnews.com/0912/07/Business/index.php?id=3

Global Competitiveness: Pakistan slides further

Business Desk

Pakistan seems to be closer to Sub-Saharan Africa than South Asia when one looks at the World Banks recently released Global Competiveness Report 2012-13. You would expect to see Pakistan amongst the top ranked nations in any such global list, (Corruption Perception Index is an exception), and so a rank of 124 out of 144 countries should not surprise many.

The 124th rank is six (four places effectively as the sample size increased by two) places further south from the previous year’s ranking there has been a steep decline in rankings and ratings since 2008. The GCI ranks Pakistan in the first stage of factor driven development which carries higher wieghtage of basic requirements, an area that Pakistan continues to be consistently poor at.

Unsurprisingly, however, the countrys macroeconomic environment turns out as most worrisome amongst the basic requirements indicators as it is ranked better than only five other countries including Greece, Yemen and Sierra Leone. More than the drop in rank, it is the massive drop in the ratings in terms of macroeconomic environment from 3.6 last year to 3.1 that should serve as an eye-opener for those at the helm of affairs.

The countrys economic managers may have decided not to include the cost of terror to the economy anymore in the Economic Survey, but the World Bank continues to do so, as there is only one country which carries higher cost of terrorism to business activities. This, along with other dampening indicators, partly explains the dearth of FDI flows to Pakistan.

The survey respondents seem to have strong faith in the judicial independence, as the judicial systems ranking and ratings continue to improve. But as far as this survey goes, institution building in the country stops here as other government institutions, police and politicians continue to receive negative ratings.

In sharp contrast to contemporary opinions, crime and terrorism sit way down on the list of most problematic factors in doing business. It is the governments own inefficiencies such as corruption, inefficient bureaucracy, policy instability and inflation that were termed amongst the factors creating most hurdles to business.

Quite bizarrely, the report indicates Pakistans population down by 7 million from the previous year’s figure of 184.8 million, which seems quite unfathomable. However, Pakistan’s rank of 30 in the market size is as good as it gets amongst all indicators. The market size itself presents the country with an immense opportunity.

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