In what could be considered as a worrying news coming in, the Indian subcontinent has been ranked the 40th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index. The rank is one down from the 39th rank that the country had proudly conquered and endorsed last year.

The Index which ranked the economy competitiveness of 137 economies saw Switzerland occupying the first spot, followed by the US and Singapore in second and third ranks, respectively.

According to the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2017, India has slipped from the 39th position to 40th while its neighbouring, rival economy China has demonstrated a much better performance and is ranked at 27th place.

The report states that, “India stabilises this year after its big leap forward of the previous two years.” It further adds that the country’s scores have improved significantly across most pillars of competitiveness, which can be considered a good sign for the developing economy.

These pillars includes infrastructure where the country was able to garner the 66th rank, higher education and training where India stood at 75 and technological readiness where the country was able to capture the 107th place. This spike in ranks reflect the recent public investments in these areas.

The report also highlighted that India has shown an impressive improvement in its ICT (information and communications technologies) indicators, especially when it comes to Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, and Internet access in schools.

The report also highlighted the problems that are hindering the progress of India’s economy. According to the report, the private sector still considers corruption as the most problematic factor when it comes to doing business in the country. This was followed by problems such ‘financing’, ‘tax rates’, ‘inadequate supply of infrastructure’, ‘poor work ethics in national labour force’ and ‘inadequately educated work force.’

It mentioned, “A big concern for India is the disconnect between its innovative strength (29) and its technological readiness (up 3 to 107): as long as this gap remains large, India will not be able to fully leverage its technological strengths across the wider economy.”

At 40th rank, India topped the list in the South Asia region, and was followed by Bhutan (85th rank), Sri Lanka (85), Nepal (88), Bangladesh (99) and Pakistan (115).

The report further reflected that Improving ICT infrastructure and use still remain among the biggest challenges for the South Asia region as in the past ten years, technological readiness has stagnated the most in the region.

For the uninitiated, the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is prepared on the basis of country-level data covering 12 categories or pillars of competitiveness, which include: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

[Image: CNN Money]

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