Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nepal retains fourth competitive position in South Asia

Though Nepal has improved its competitiveness by 10 ranks to 88 -- out of 137 economies -- from last year's 98, it has retained the regional rank as the fourth most competitive economy in South Asia, according to Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18 published by World Economic Forum (WEF) globally today.
India (40), Bhutan (82) and Sri Lanka (85) are ahead of Nepal, while Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind in terms of regional ranking, the report reads, adding that Bangladesh ranks at 99 and Pakistan ranks 115.
Nepal slipped from the third most lucrative investment destination in South Asia in 2015-16 to the fourth last year. Nepal this year also couldnot improve the regional ranking from last year.
Nepal scored 4 points -- out of 7 -- and ranked 88th among 137 economies in the world, reveals the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2017-2018, whereas Nepal had scored 3.87 points and ranked 98th among 138 economies in the GCI 2016-2017.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18 also revealed that Nepal managed to advance its ranking in the GCI every subsequent year since 2012-13. Nepal has improved its scores across all pillars of competitiveness except Business Sophistication and Innovation Pillers that are key to advance economies.
However, government instability tops the most problematic factors for doing business in Nepal. It is followed by inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, policy instability, corruption, access to finance and poor work ethics.
The report also reads that ‘upgrading ICT infrastructure and increasing ICT use remain among the biggest challenges for the South Asia region’. According to the report, over the past decade, South Asia has been the area where technological readiness stagnated the most, with a performance similar to that of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Overall, the report highlights that 10 years on from global financial crisis, prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on part of leaders and policymakers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity.
The results show growth is starting to recover, but still is insufficient to provide foundations needed for continued reductions in poverty and broad-based improvements in the quality of life of the many.
With emerging markets having a greater participation in global production and growth, progress in competitiveness among the large growing economies of Asia, Africa, and Latin America will be fundamental to the ability to provide a new boost to global growth.
Globally, Switzerland continued to top the overall rankings, with strong results evenly balanced across the different components of competitiveness. The United States improved a spot to rank at second overall this year. Singapore at third position (down by one) posted ‘an excellent performance across the board’. The Netherlands, at fourth, maintained its position. Similarly, Germany remained in the fifth position as last year, while slightly increasing its overall score.
There are three sub-indices in the competitiveness report -- basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and Innovation and sophistication factors. 

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