WEF's global economy competitiveness report: Roberto Crotti

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 19, 2018

On a scale from 0 to 100, America scored 85.6, followed by Singapore (83.5), Germany (82.8), Switzerland (82.6), and Japan (82.5).

The World Economic Forum published the Global Competitiveness Report 2018, which analyses the competitiveness of economies in 140 countries around the world.

According to the report, which in 2018 uses a brand new methodology to fully capture the dynamics of the global economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, numerous factors that will have the greatest impact in driving competitiveness in the future have never been the focus of major policy decisions in the past.

With a 35.5 grade, Chad is deemed the least competitive nation in the world.

According to the report, India's greatest competitive advantages are its market size, innovation and business dynamism. The 98 indicators in the index this year were drawn from global organizations and a survey of company executives; it largely reflected long-term policies such as investing in digital skills.

"Those new drivers include adaptability and agility of all stakeholders, including the governments".

With its strong focus on the impact of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, the report assesses what it believes is the readiness of countries to handle future changes in the business landscape.

The WEF assessment, meanwhile, also serves as another useful background input to the agenda of government's Investment Summit next week, Parsons noted, adding that it resonates with the expectations around the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, or "mini-budget", on October 24, as well as what message it will convey about recovery and reform in the South African economy. Its entrepreneurial culture saw it score highly in the business dynamism pillar. An interesting development here is a pillar such as macroeconomic stability which saw our ranking at 132 out of 140 countries. "It is far from the frontier in areas such as checks and balances (76.3, 40th), judicial independence (79.0, 15th), and corruption (75.0, 16th)".

The top 11 countries all score above 80 points for competitiveness. Singapore was in second place, with Germany in the third spot.

Out of 140 economies assessed, the U.S. topped the index for the first time in a decade.

And while low and middle-income economies can leverage technology to jumpstart growth, the report emphasises the importance of "old" developmental pillars, such as governance, infrastructure and skills.

The Global Competitiveness Index ranks countries based on 12 key pillars.

Despite the USA top billing for the first time in nearly a decade, WEF - which brings together leaders from public and private-sector institutions - took a swipe at the protectionism advocated by the Trump administration. The Fourth Industrial Revolution - characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres - has become a lived reality for millions of people around the world. But technology is not a silver bullet on its own.

For the World Economic Forum, "the existence of pockets of over- or under-performance within each region suggests that there is little determinism in competitiveness".

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