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World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings

November 3, 2007

The fact that India has slipped 6 places in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness* rankings has been all over the news. The global competitiveness survey takes into account 12 parameters which are Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Stability, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and Training, Goods Market Efficiency, Labor Market Efficiency, Financial Market Sophistication, Technological Readiness, Market Size, Business Sophistication and Innovation. A total of 131 countries were polled.

Looking at it positively, we are still ahead of some of the BRIC nations like Brazil which is at 72 this year (Brazil slipped in it’s rankings by six places), and Russia, which is at 58, but it has stepped up one place since last year. China has beaten us, like last year. It improved it’s ranking from 35 to 34. But at 34 China’s score is 4.57 and India’s isn’t too far behind at 4.33 so I guess we aren’t that far behind. 🙂

Even better news is that India has scored better than China in World Economic Forum’s Business Competitiveness Index. This is a more detailed study of business competitiveness. Here India is ranked 31 and China 57.

India’s huge market has driven up the score as India’s rank on market size is 3! India is at 26 for for innovation and business sophistication, and it doesn’t rank too badly on financial market sophistication either – 37. But India ranks poorly on health and primary education (101) and ofcourse, labour market efficiency (96).

The problem is that while we are improving on various ‘business’ indicators we are not doing so on our ‘social’ ones. Education and health are still way down on the list of government priorities. I am sure the government realises that we cannot take a leap forward unless we progress on all fronts…but it’s frustrating that despite these sectors literally screaming for more the government isn’t doing enough.

The world
Interestingly, world rankings in the top 10 have hardly changed, and most of those who were in the top ten last year are still there. The list goes thus: US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Singapore, Japan and the UK. Japan has slipped by three places, but Sweden and Singapore both jumped five places. A significant change has happened to Britain, as it’s position slipped from 2 to 9. The reasons given for this are “macroeconomic imbalances, an increasingly complex and burdensome tax system, weak productivity, and a sub-standard transport infrastructure.”

*Note on Global Competitiveness Report: It has evolved over the last three decades and is an annual survey conducted by the World Economic Foum together with leading research institutes and business organizations. 11,000 business leaders in 131 countries were surveyed in this latest research. The final scores are not just calculated from the Executive Opinion Survey but also from publicly available data.

Related Reading: The Goldman Sachs Report: India to be number 2 by 2050?
Highest salaries in India in 2007
The increasing list of Indian Forbes billionnaires
Indian Real Estate booming
The glory days of globalisation
Britain not cashing in on India’s investment climate

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2007 1:31 pm

    hmmm…..well i think a good move in our country would be to privatize agriculture…and maybe even education..

  2. November 3, 2007 1:49 pm

    Thanks Vishesh. Privatising is still such a dream in India! but we should try and move towards it…
    about privatisation of education…well I am not sure about this. it seems to be working at the school level, but not at the higher education level. Look at the private medical colleges for example. the govt ones are better.
    and NID the govt. design institute is still the best.
    And at the primary level I strongly feel that state should introduce quotas in good private schools complete with scholarships and this will go against the grain of private enterprise. the only other solution is improve govt education at primary level but I don’t even see anything happening! one just hears of more and more shocking stories of what goes on in govt. schools….

  3. November 3, 2007 7:40 pm

    Impressive post. It is amazing how you are so comfortable with figures and stats.

  4. Bharath permalink
    November 3, 2007 9:25 pm

    //we are not doing so on our ‘social’ ones. //

    You wrote it perfectly right.

    Poverty is still not going down fast.. & poor performance in Education and health.

    I liked Shashi Tharoor’s interview y’day on CNN.. it was fabulous. He made us feel proud. All journalist were curious to listen more n more from him… he sounds very interesting while he speaks abt our country..

  5. amreekandesi permalink
    November 3, 2007 10:06 pm

    Great analysis. Indeed indian growth is getting lopsided, and without social progress, the economic development loses its sheen.
    The record GDP growth levels mean nothing if half the people still cannot read, or are malnourished, or dont have access to safe drinking water.

  6. November 3, 2007 11:19 pm

    Thanks rdoc, Bharath, Amreekdesi.
    Bharath, Shashi Tharoor is indeed very articulate and sophisticated…missed that interview though!
    Amreekdesi, well, the analysis isn’t a very original one really, in the sense that these things are being said all the time. I simply related it to the post.

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