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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

Last updated on: September 7, 2012 08:34 IST

Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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This year's Global Competitiveness Index's top 10 list is dominated by a number of European countries, as in previous years.

India's ranking declined by three places to 59th position in the Global Competitiveness Index 2012 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) due to a disappointing performance in the basic factors contributing to competitiveness.

The WEF ranks 144 countries on competitiveness by examining 113 indicators culled from official data.

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India now trails them by some 10 places and lags behind China by a margin of 30 positions.

WEF defines competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.

A more competitive economy is one that is likely to sustain growth.

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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Since reaching its peak at 49th in 2009, India has lost 10 places. Once ahead of Brazil and South Africa,

The level of productivity, in turn, sets the level of prosperity that can be earned by an economy.

India continues to be penalised for its disappointing performance in the areas considered to be the basic factors underpinning competitiveness.

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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The country's supply of transport, ICT, and energy infrastructure remains largely insufficient and ill-adapted to the needs of the economy (84th).

Indeed, the Indian business community repeatedly cites infrastructure as the single biggest hindrance to doing business, well ahead of corruption and bureaucracy.

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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It must be noted, however, that the situation has been slowly improving since 2006.

The picture is even bleaker in the health and basic education pillar (101st).

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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Despite improvements across the board over the past few years, poor public health and education standards remain a prime cause of India's low productivity.

Turning to the country's institutions, discontent within the business community remains high about the lack of reforms and the perceived inability of the government to push them through, says the WEF report.

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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Indeed, public trust in politicians (106th) has been weakening for the past three years.

Once ranked a satisfactory 37th in this dimension, India now ranks 70th.

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Competitiveness: India's rank falls further to 59!

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Meanwhile, the macroeconomic environment (99th) continues to be characterized by large and repeated public deficits and the highest debt-to-GDP ratio among the BRICS.

On a more positive note, inflation returned to single-digit territory in 2011.

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Despite these considerable challenges, India does possess a number of strengths in the more advanced and complex drivers of competitiveness.

This "reversed" pattern of development is characteristic of India.

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It can rely on a fairly well developed and sophisticated financial market (21st) that can channel financial resources to good use, and it boasts reasonably sophisticated (40th) and innovative (41th) businesses.

 




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