According to the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index, India has been ranked as the 40th most competitive economy. It slipped one place from last year’s rankings. The list is topped by Switzerland. Out of 137 economies, Switzerland is at the top, followed by the US and Singapore, respectively.
In 2016, India stood at 39th position and has slipped to 40 this year. Neighboring country China is ranked at 27th. The report mentioned that India has stabilized this year after a big leap forward in the past two years. The score has improved across most pillars of competitiveness. This includes infrastructure which is at 66th rank, higher education and training at 75 and technological readiness at 107. These areas reflect the public investments for the growth of the economy. The report also added that India’s performance has improved in the information and communication technology, especially Internet bandwidth per user, internet access in schools and mobile phone and broadband subscriptions.
The World Economic Forum said that the private sector still considers corruption to be a problematic factor for doing business in India. Further, the biggest concern for the country is the disconnect between the innovative strength and the technological readiness. As long as the gap remains, the country will be unable to leverage its technological strengths across the economy. Out of the BRICS, China and Russia (38) rank above India. Brazil and South Africa are placed at 80th and 61st spot respectively. Out of South Asian countries, India has the highest ranking which is followed by Bhutan at 85th rank, Sri Lanka at 85th, Nepal at 88th position, Bangladesh at 99th and Pakistan at 115.
Improving the information and communication technology and the use of the same is a big challenge for the region. The technological readiness has stagnated the most in South Asia in the last decade. The countries which form the top 10 are Netherlands at 4th position, Germany in the 5th position, Hong Kong SAR at 6th position, Sweden at the 7th position, United Kingdom in the 8th position, Japan at the 9th position and Finland at the 10th.
The Global Competitiveness Index is prepared using the country level data which covers 12 categories of competitiveness. These 12 pillars include institutions, health and primary education; goods market efficiency, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, financial market development, market size, technological readiness, higher education and training, labor market efficiency, business sophistication and innovation. According to the survey, corruption is a significant problem for doing business in the country. Another biggest challenge is the access to funding which is followed by tax rates, inadequate supply of infrastructure, poor ethics at work and inadequate education among the work force.
Countries moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution who are strengthening their political, social and economic systems will stand out in the competitive race of the future. The ranking shows that India still has a long way to go in terms of economic development as compared to the top ranked nations.