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Global Competitiveness Index: Pakistan slips to 110th from 107th position among 141 countries

Out of 103 indicators, the report states that Pakistan made improvements on 42 indices, retained its position on 10 indices, new indices 12 and the country position deteriorated at 39 indices in 2019.

By Mehtab Haider
October 10, 2019

Global Competitiveness Index: Pakistan slips to 110th from 107th position among 141 countries

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ranking in Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has further dropped by three notches and now stands at 110th out of total of 141 surveyed economies of the world.

Out of 12 pillars of competitiveness and 103 indicators, Pakistan’s ranking related to institutions stood at 107th position, infrastructure 105th, ICT adoption 131st, macroeconomic stability at 116th, health 115th, skills 125th, product market 126th, labour market 120th, financial system 99th, market size 29th, business dynamism 52nd and innovation capacity 159th position in accordance with Global Competitiveness Index. 

The Global Ranking of National Institutions on Improving Competitiveness showed that the ranking of Intellectual Property Organisation stood at 78th position in 2019 from 83rd position in 2018, judicial independence 63rd position in 2019 from 70th position, police services at 98th from 100th position, AGPR at 111th position in 2019 from 113th position in 2018, NHA at 67th position from 69th, railways at 47th position in 2019 from 52nd in 2018, CAA at 47th position, NEPRA 99th position in 2019 from 105th position in 2018, Navtec at 85th position from 90th position in 2018, CCP at 126th position from 128th position, Customs at 128th position from 127th position, SBP at 93rd position from 94th, SECP at 7th position from 5th, NAB at 101th position from 99th and press freedom at 116th position in 2019 from 112th position in 2018.

Out of 103 indicators, the report states that Pakistan made improvements on 42 indices, retained its position on 10 indices, new indices 12 and the country position deteriorated at 39 indices in 2019. Pakistan’s ranking improved on account of reduction in organised crime from 121th position to 112th, reliability of police improved from 100th position to 98th, budgetary transparency index improved from 77 to 58, judicial independence from 70 to 63, intellectual property rights from 83 to 78, road connectivity from 62 to 52 and quality of research institutions improved from 41st position to 35th, while country’s ranking downgraded on freedom of press as it nosedived by four notches and stood at 116th position in 2019 against 112th position in 2018.

On incidence of corruption, Pakistan’s ranking deteriorated from 99th to 101st position, terrorism incidents from 140 to 141, which is lowest among all 141 countries despite the fact that the terror incidents have reduced significantly in the last year. The ranking efficiency of legal framework in challenging regs stood at 49th position in 2019 as it was standing at 46th position in 2018. The efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes deteriorated from 62nd to 69th position in 2019. The ranking of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witnessed a down slide from 99th position to 101st ranking. Pakistan’s overall ranking in comparison with other South Asian states also deteriorated as Sri Lanka stood at 84th position by improving one notch, India’s ranking stood at 68th by decreasing ten notches, Bangladesh at 105th by decreasing 2 notches and Nepal 108th position by improving one notch.

Out of total 103 indices, Pakistan improved or retained its position on 64 indices while its position deteriorated on 39 indices. “There is need to build the country’s narrative on the basis of its strengths,” Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan said on the occasion of launching GCR 2019 here on Wednesday. The WEF in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan launched this report. He said the country would have to come out from the narrative of being a terror victim as it’s not helping the country to build its image.

On competitiveness, Pakistan has been ranked at 110th among 141 economies, slipping three positions below from last year’s 107. Pakistan has been ranked 107th in institutions as compared to 109th last year. It’s ranked 105th in infrastructure against 93rd in 2018, the ICT adoption has slipped to 131 from 127 from a year earlier.

With a loss of 13 ranks, the macroeconomic stability at 116 has greatly impacted country’s competitiveness rankings, while the Health pillars at 115 in 2019 has slipped from 109 from last year.

The skills pillar has retained its position as last year at 125. Pakistan has also lost 4 ranks on the product market pillar with global ranking on 126. Pakistan improved its labour market efficiency with one point by securing 120th rank among 141 economies. While the financial systems pillar lost 10 ranks and rests at 99th this year, compared to 89th last years, the country improved its competitiveness advantage by securing an impressive 29th position compared to 31st in 2018. Pakistan showed its best performance on the business dynamism by improving 15 points and securing 52nd among 141 economies. This gain was due to Pakistan’s improvements on time to start a business where, it improves several ranks. The country scored 79 on the innovation capability pillar compared to 75 in 2018.

In South Asia, India, in 68th position, loses ground in the rankings despite a relatively stable score, mostly due to faster improvements of several countries previously ranked lower. It is followed by Sri Lanka (the most improved country in the region at 84th), Bangladesh (105th), Nepal (108th) and Pakistan (110th).

Singapore is the world’s most competitive economy in 2019, overtaking the United States, which falls to second place. Hong Kong SAR (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Switzerland (5th) round up the top five. The average across the 141 economies covered is 61 points, almost 40 points to the frontier. This global competitiveness gap is of even more concern as the global economy faces the prospect of a downturn. The changing geopolitical context and rising trade tensions are fuelling uncertainty and could precipitate a slowdown. However, some of this year’s better performers in the GCI appear to be benefiting from the trade feud through trade diversion, including Singapore (1st) and Viet Nam (67th), the most improved country in this year’s report.