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DAWN Reports: Pakistan rises to 122nd in global competitiveness ranking


Pakistan rises to 122nd in global competitiveness ranking

Date: 28.09.2016



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s competitiveness has risen by four places to 122nd according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report (2016-17) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The increase underlines that certain macroeconomic indicators of the country have improved in the last one year.

For the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States.

The report, an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries, identifies corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in Pakistan, followed by crime and theft, tax rates, access to finance, government instability and coups.

Of the 114 global competitiveness indicators, Pakistan showed improvements on 54 key indices, whereas it lost its previous position on 50 indices. The remaining 10 indices were the same as compared to the last year.

The SECP’s position has plunged to 106 from 51 in 2014

The report, a copy of which is available with Dawn, showed that Pakistan improved from 119 to 111 on the institutions pillars, while infrastructure improved only one point to 116 this year.

On the macroeconomic stability pillar, the country jumped from 128 in 2015 to 116. It also made economic progress on national savings as a percentage of gross domestic product as the rank improved from 115 to 107. The government debt percentage to GDP also ranks at 95 among 138 economies in the world.

The biggest gain, however, is in the area of inflation as Pakistan moved from 127 in 2015 to 93 regarding the annual percentage change in inflation.

On other pillars, Pakistan’s ranking in the health and primary education was 128, higher education and training 123, goods market efficiency 117, labour market efficiency 129, financial market sophistication 107, technological readiness 119, market size 29, business sophistication 95, and innovation 75.

Pakistan ranks last among its South Asian neighbours. India leads at 39, followed by Sri Lanka 71, Bhutan 97, Nepal 98 and Bangladesh 106.

To improve the soft data on Pakistan, the WEF closely worked with Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the forum.

Mishal Pakistan’s Chief Executive Officer Amir Jahangir said that while the country has shown improvements on some of the key indicators, it still needs to integrate itself into the digital and cyber world.

The WEF report also shows performance of some of the key regulatory bodies and other government institutions of Pakistan, including Intellectual Property Organisation (rank: 109), judicial independence (88), police services (118), Accountant General Of Pakistan Revenues (121), the National Highway Authority (77), Pakistan Railways (53), the Civil Aviation Authority (91), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (121), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (115), National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (97), Competition Commission of Pakistan (96), Pakistan Customs (113), State Bank of Pakistan (101), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) (106) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (135).

The SECP has been losing its global ranking at an alarming rate from 51 in 2014 to 106 this year.

The report also indicates that a 10-year decline in the openness of economies at all stages of development poses a risk to countries’ ability to grow and innovate.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s competitiveness has fallen by two places to 34th. Malaysia has dropped out of the top 20, falling seven places to 25. Indonesia fell four places to 41, while the Philippines dropped 10 to 57.

Published in Dawn September 28th, 2016




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