According to the latest Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum, Pakistan’s competitiveness has gained seven places to reach 115th position, showing improvement in various sectors of the economy in one year.The report also suggests improvement in competitiveness in many countries in South Asia. Bhutan rose up by 15 places to secure 82th position and Nepal by 10 places to stand at 88th. Switzerland acquired the status of the most competitive economy in the world while the United States and Singapore came second and third in the global context. Pakistan has gained seven places across all pillars of competitiveness. India is down by one place to stand at 40th position and Sri Lanka has lost 14 places to acquire 85th position mainly due to corruption and inefficiency of the government bureaucracy which is hindering progress. According to the report, Pakistan has shown improvement in 82 indices but lost previous positions in 20 indices this year. Among the 114 global competitiveness indicators the country retained its position on 12 indices. Unfortunately, corruption has been indicated as the principal factor in the way of doing business in Pakistan. Next to corruption are the irrational tax rates and political instability, which are arresting the progress. The forum had highlighted similar problems in its report last year, but no improvement has been made on this account this year too.
Pakistan improved 21 ranks on the institutions pillar to stand at 90 from 111thposition last year.The country secured its ranking on Infrastructure pillar from 116 to 110 and improved 10 ranks to stands at 106th on the macroeconomic stability.Pakistan has lost one rankunder the head of health and primary education among 137 countries, but improved from 123 to 120 inhigher education.It secured 107th position in goods market efficiency, 128thin labour market efficiency,96thin financial market sophistication,111th in technological readiness and secured 28th position on the pillar of market size.According to a representative of the World Economic Forum, Pakistan has factor driven economy, which depends on improving its institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education.
As a matter of fact, Pakistan’s economy is resilient and has the ability to absorb shocks of global economic crisis. Since independence, the country has successfully resisted the global crisis, but it needs structural reforms to rid itself of the legacy of the colonial era.