World Economic Forum (WEF) on 27 September 2015 released the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2016-2017. The report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 138 economies.
The 2016-17 report comes out in the context of persistent slow growth and a near-term outlook that is fraught with renewed uncertainty fueled by continued geopolitical turmoil, financial market fragility, and sustained high debt levels in emerging markets.
Despite unorthodox monetary policy, global GDP growth has fallen from levels of 4.4 percent in 2010 to 2.5 percent in 2015. This fall in growth reflects not only the productivity slowdown documented in 2015-16 Report, which has continued during 2016, but also what now seems like a long-term downward trend in investment rates.
Highlights of the report
• Switzerland, Singapore and the US remain as the world's most competitive economies.
• China ranks 28 in the index.
• Among the other BRICS nations, Russia is ranked 43rd, South Africa is at 47 and Brazil at 81.
• There were no newcomers to its 2016-2017 top 10, though the order of some of the leading countries shifted in its Global Competitiveness Report.
• Top 10 countries in ranking are Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong (SAR), and Finland.
Report in Context of India
The report highlights that for second consecutive year, India has jumped 16 places in the GCI report to occupy the 39th spot. In 2015-16 GCI report, India was placed at 55th position as compared to 71st rank in 2014-15 report.
In the report, India showed biggest improvement in rankings as its competitiveness improved on several fronts including efficiency in goods market, business sophistication and innovation.
The report said, due to improved monetary and fiscal policies, as well as lower oil prices, the Indian economy has stabilised and now boasts the highest growth among G20 countries.
It said, recent reform efforts have concentrated on improving public institutions, opening the economy to foreign investors and international trade and increasing transparency in the financial system. The report also said that India still needs to cover a lot of ground in the areas like labour, financial market, tax regulations, manufacturing, infrastructure and technological readiness.
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2004. Defining competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories – the pillars of competitiveness – that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness.
The 12 pillars are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
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When: 27 September 2016