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India sees largest gain on WEF's Competitiveness Index
28
Sep '16
India has shown the largest gain made by any country on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index 2016-17. It has jumped 16 places for the second year in a row to the 39th rank among 138 countries. It was ranked 55th in 2015-16. Thus, it has narrowed the gap with China (rank 28), and is now ahead of other three BRICS countries.

Switzerland continues to the most competitive country, followed by Singapore, the US, the Netherlands and Germany. Among BRICS nations, Russia is ranked 43rd, South Africa is at 47, whereas Brazil is at 81.

The Index is the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide. It assesses the competitiveness landscape of all economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. It measures countries' performance on three indicators — basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and innovation and sophistication factor. Performance on these in turn is measured through sub-indicators.

“Thanks 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. Recent reform efforts have concentrated on improving public institutions (up 16), opening the economy to foreign investors and international trade (up four), and increasing transparency in the financial system (up 15),” said the report.

On basic requirements, India's rank jumped from 80th in 2015-16 to 63rd this year, with improvements in indicators such as institutions, infrastructure and macroeconomic environment.

However, “Lack of infrastructure (68th) and ICT use (120th) remain bottlenecks. Improvement has been slow in recent years and further investment will be necessary, especially to connect rural areas and make sure they can equally benefit from and contribute to the country's development,” the report adds.

The report shows that India has made rapid progress on prevalence of foreign ownership (from 96th in 2015-16 to 72nd in 2016-17) and on business impact of rules on foreign direct investment (from 92nd last year to 71st this year).

In recent times, India's ranking has improved on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index, and the World Bank's logistics index. This, in part, has to do with a string of reform measures taken by the present government, including liberalisation of the foreign direct investment regime and the passage of the Constitution amendment bill for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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