United Kingdom slides down global competitiveness rankings

Learning how to adapt to a more automated world will prove the difference between winners and losers in the race for economic competitiveness

The country remained the second-most competitive economy in Arab World and 25th globally in World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.

In 2017, the report found that Switzerland retained the top spot as the most competitive economy, closely followed by the USA and Singapore.

According to the 12 criteria used by the WEF, Switzerland retained its place as the world's most competitive country in this year's standings.

"Among the emerging markets seen as having great potential in the early 2000s, Brazil and Turkey have now lost much of the ground they gained before 2013, but China, India and Indonesia continue to improve", the WEF report said.

South Africa also dropped from number one to number 30 in the WEF rankings of the quality of auditing and reporting standards in the index, and its institutional environmental ranking had plummeted 36 places to 76.Switzerland topped the WEF's competitiveness index, with the USA in second place.

The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving countries' productivity and prosperity.

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The indicators which are grouped into 12 competitive pillars are institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiently, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

However, the global financial system could be at risk to another external shock, the report said. Malta ranked high in the areas of higher education and training (30th), labour market efficiency (29th), business sophistication (31st), and innovation (38th).

Makhubela said "all is not lost" however, as there were several lessons to take from the WEF report indicators. "Although tertiary enrollment is strong at 63 percent, more efforts are needed to advance the quality of education and align it with economic needs", the report said.

The forum's global competitiveness index is topped by Switzerland. For public institutions the drop is seven places, which includes factors such as property rights, ethics and corruption, undue influence, public sector performance and security.

Sitzerland ranks first in the overall ranking, with a score of 5.9. Talents will become increasingly more important than capital and therefore the world is moving from the age of capitalism into the age of talentism.

In the competitiveness rankings among Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan finished behind Singapore (3rd overall), Hong Kong (sixth), Japan (ninth) and New Zealand (13th), but ahead of Australia (21st), Malaysia (23rd), South Korea (26th) and China (27th).

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