Singapore tops world competitiveness ranking, India ranks 68th

Ms Saadia Zahidi a World Economic Forum managing director noted that while there is a lack of

India climbed 23 places to 77 among 190 countries in the World Bank survey past year.

However, she admitted that given the fall of two places in Taiwan's "skills" ranking there is still room for improvement.

Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland made up the rest of the top five, according to the WEF survey published on Wednesday.

Korea also ranked No. 25 in vitality of businesses, three spots lower than last year, and No. 88 in public perception on ownership risks, falling 11 spots from last year. The country was also ranked eighth and 27th in terms of health and skills. The Global Competitiveness Report ranks every economy in the world on 103 factors including economic indicators, laws and regulations, the internal political situation, research and development, and skills of the population.

Singapore overtook the United States to snag the title of the world's most competitive economy, as surveyed business leaders in the USA voiced concerns that the country is becoming less open to global trade.

Launched in 1979, the Global Competitiveness Report provides an annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth.

Among the South Asian nations, India is at 68, with Sri Lanka 84 and Bangladesh at 105 and Nepal at 108.

Singapore's rise was partly propelled by the slide in the performance of the U.S., which fared better in trade openness a year ago.

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It ranked first in infrastructure, health, and labour, but could still improve in innovation. Following market size, India has done reasonably well in innovation capability (35th), financial system (40th) and macro-economic stability (43rd). It dropped to 6th from 5th in the ASEAN Region, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Index.

Hong Kong rose to third from seventh a year ago on what the report called its stable macro-economy and improved healthcare.

Economic experts say the new methodology had been able to capture the business dynamism and innovation capability of Pakistan and helped the country in registering some gains.

Vietnam made the biggest jump in the rankings to 67 from 77.

The report's index maps out the competitive landscape of 141 economies based on more than 100 indicators in a dozen categories.

"Product market efficiency (101st) is undermined by a lack of trade openness (131st) and the labour market is characterised by a lack of worker rights' protections, insufficiently developed active labour market policies, and critically low participation of women", it said.

"The injection of cash by the world's four major central banks may have even contributed to divert more capital towards the financial market rather than to productivity-enhancing investments", WEF said.

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