Saudi Arabia was in 25th position. Pakistan also benefited from its 3G and 4G rollout in the telecommunication sector, where the country improved on foreign direct investment and technology transfer indicator by 13 ranks and sits at 77th rank among 140 countries.
Among the lowest rankings were in the goods market efficiency pillar at 80th (intensity of local competition, extent of market dominance, effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy); in labor market efficiency at 82nd (flexibility of wage determination, hiring and firing practices), and health and primary education pillar at 86th place.
The world’s emerging markets didn’t fare to well on the rankings, many either stagnated or declined outright. “South Africa re-enters the top 50, progressing seven places to 49th”, WEF said.
Elsewhere, macroeconomic instability and loss of trust in public institutions dragged down Turkey (51st), as well as Brazil (75th), which posts one of the largest falls. Mauritius remained the region’s most competitive economy, at 46 out of 140, followed by South Africa at 49, and Rwanda close behind at 58. “In Europe, we see improvement in many southern economies, helping narrow slightly the region’s north-south divide”.
Among emerging and developing Asian economies, the competitiveness trends are mostly positive, despite the many challenges and profound intra-regional disparities.
“This dramatic reversal is largely attributable to the momentum initiated by the election of Marinara Modi, whose pro-business, pro-growth, and anti-corruption stance has improved the business community’s sentiment toward the government”, a WEF report on the survey said.
Singapore beats everyone but Switzerland for the fifth consecutive year.
The report comprises 114 criteria which are organised into 12 pillars of competitiveness.
Under the goods market efficiency, Pakistan lost solid 16 ranks, where the extent of market dominance, which measures the characteristic of corporate activities, has gone from 71 in 2014 to 110 in 2015.
Switzerland remains No. 1 on the list, a position it has held since 2007.
However, the author noticed that recent developments in the country have created a number of downside risks and leave little policy space, such as sluggish recovery in key trading partner countries, the appreciation of the Swiss franc following the exit of the exchange rate floor, near-zero inflation and negative real interest rates.
India has been keen to show a strong improvement in its performance in several of these global indicators. “The area where we still need more work is innovation”.
Japan remains in sixth place.
The ranking is down from past year, when the UAE achieved 12th, the highest ever position of any Middle East country by the WEF.
Finland drops to eighth from fourth last year, having been third for the two previous years. “It could do better, too, with the quality of its education system (21st) and maths and science in particular (46th) – both long-term problems”, it said. Russian Federation improved eight places to 45, although this is explained mostly by a major revision of purchasing power parity estimates by the International Monetary Fund, which led to a 40 percent increase in Russia’s GDP when valued at PPP.
For macroeconomic environment, India is ranked 91st, helped by a reduction in commodity prices and improvement in the government’s budget deficit.