From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : GCI
Mains level : Ease of doing business in India
- The annual Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) is released.
- Singapore has become the world’s most competitive economy in 2019, pushing the U.S. to the second place. Hong Kong SAR is ranked 3rd, Netherlands is 4th and Switzerland is ranked 5th.
About the GCI
- The GCI was launched in 1979, maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 pillars.
India ranked second for shareholder governance
- India is ranked also high at 15th place in terms of corporate governance, while it is ranked second globally for shareholder governance.
- In terms of the market size, India is ranked third, while it has got the same rank for renewable energy regulation.
- Besides, India also punches above its development status when it comes to innovation, which is well ahead of most emerging economies and on par with several advanced economies.
- India ranks high in terms of macroeconomic stability and market size, while its financial sector is relatively deep and stable despite the high delinquency rate, which contributes to weakening the soundness of its banking system.
- This is largely due to improvements witnessed by several other economies.
India’s declining performance
- India has moved down 10 places to rank 68th from 58th on an annual global competitiveness index.
- WEF has flagged limited ICT (information, communications and technology) adoption, poor health conditions and low healthy life expectancy.
- India is among the worst-performing BRICS nations along with Brazil (ranked even lower than India at 71st this year).
- In the overall ranking, India is followed by some of its neighbours including Sri Lanka at 84th place, Bangladesh at 105th, Nepal at 108th and Pakistan at 110th place.
Low healthy life expectancy
- The WEF said the healthy life expectancy, where India has been ranked 109th out of total the 141 countries surveyed for the index, is one of the shortest outside Africa and significantly below the South Asian average.
Improving skill base
- Besides, India needs to grow its skills base, while its product market efficiency is undermined by a lack of trade openness.
- The labour market is characterized by a lack of worker rights’ protections, insufficiently developed active labour market policies and critically low participation of women.
- With a ratio of female workers to male workers of 0.26, India has been ranked very low at 128th place. India is also ranked low at 118th in terms of meritocracy and incentivisation and at 107th place for skills.
Asia-Pacific is most competitive region
- The report showed that several economies with strong innovation capability like Korea, Japan and France, or increasing capability, like China, India and Brazil, must improve their talent base and their labour markets.
- The presence of many competitive countries in Asia-Pacific makes this region the most competitive in the world, followed closely by Europe and North America.
- China is ranked 28th (the highest ranked among the BRICS) while Vietnam is the most improved country in the region this year at 67th place.