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September 30, 2020

World Economic Forum asks Pakistan to build institutions

Business

September 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday asked Pakistan to focus on policies for institution building in order to improve its ranking in the global competitiveness index.

Amir Jahangir, chief executive officer of Mishal Pakistan, a local partner institute of the WEF said the global competitiveness report is the flagship report of the World Economic Forum, which identifies the attractiveness and the productivity of any country.

“There are factors and policies that determine the competitiveness of any country and Pakistan can improve its ranking if the right attention is given to institution building and appropriate policies, where the primary focus should be in improving a more connected digital ecosystem,” Jahangir said during a meeting with Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary Fareena Mazhar.

The new global competitiveness index is scheduled for next month.

Pakistan ranking on the WEF competitiveness index slipped down three ranks to 110 from 107 in 2018.

Puruesh Chaudhary, director of Mishal informed the meeting that the new report would be launched on Nov 18 and would include the impact of the COVID-19 on competitiveness, outlining economic policy measures that could revive economy while achieving economic transformations.

Mazhar said the government decided to work with the World Economic Forum and its local partner institute Mishal to improve the country’s ranking in the global competitiveness index. BOI secretary said the government wants to improve Pakistan’s ranking in the global competitiveness index of WEF by undertaking reforms.

Mukarram Ansari, executive director general of BOI said Pakistan has been performing quite well on the ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank and the government wants to undertake the similar reforms in the areas which are included in the competitiveness index.

Out of 12 pillars of competitiveness and 103 indicators, Pakistan’s ranking related to institutions stood at 107th, 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. With a loss of 13 ranks, the macroeconomic stability at 116 greatly impacted country’s competitiveness rankings, while the health pillars at 115 in 2019 slipped from 109 from last year.

India ranked 68th and had a relatively stable score, followed by Sri Lanka (the most improved country in the region at 84th), Bangladesh (105th), Nepal (108th) and Pakistan (110th).

Singapore was the world’s most competitive economy in 2019, overtaking the United States, which fell to second place. Hong Kong was on the 3rd, Netherlands (4th) and Switzerland (5th).