SA slides further down WEF's global competitiveness index

Irving Hamilton
October 17, 2018

WEF said this year's rankings are not comparable to previous reports, as the organization transitioned to a new Competitiveness Index.

"Economic recovery is well underway, with the global economy projected to grow nearly 4% in 2018 and 2019", the report stated, adding that "recovery remains vulnerable to a range of risks and potential shocks".

However, the same report pointed out that the Philippines is one of the countries with notable problems linked to violence, crime or terrorism. It added Philippine police are considered unreliable.

India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index for 2018, which was topped by the US.

Among ASEAN countries, the Philippines ranks 3rd in labor market competitiveness behind Singapore and Malaysia; 3rd in macroeconomic stability behind Malaysia and Singapore, and 4th in innovation capability and financial systems.

The Philippines, however still lags behind its Asian neighbors in terms of institutions, health, and infrastructure.

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The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of Wednesday's announcement. A suspension doesn't erase a record, but can make it easier to get a job, travel and generally contribute to society.

In infrastructure, Philippines reminds behind in road connectivity, exposure to unsafe drinking water, efficiency of train services, and electrification rate. The United States remained at No 1, followed by Singapore, Germany and Switzerland.

The latest report uses a new methodology based on the rapid transformation of the global economy due to the fourth industrial revolution.

The report also called on governments to implement more inclusive and redistributive tax policies, saying that "it is possible to be pro-growth and inclusive at the same time".

Importantly, the plan needs to demonstrate a strong sense of collaboration between the public and private spheres, the different sectors in the economy and with other economies, he said.

The WEF has been publishing global competitive reports since 1979, and according to its own mission, has been "providing policy-makers and other stakeholders around the world with an annual assessment of the drivers of long-term growth".

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