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SA in bottom ten for global competitiveness

May 24 2018 06:35
Carin Smith

South Africa ranks 53rd out of 63 countries on the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Rankings released on Wednesday evening.

This is the same position it held last year and one position lower than in 2016.

According to the index report, the country's challenges in 2018 are low growth and high unemployment; limited fiscal space and higher public debt interest payments; deteriorating primary and secondary education standards and educational attainment; uncertainty about pending legislation on the land reform process; and inefficiency and mismanagement of state-owned enterprises.

South Africa ranks last in terms of its unemployment rate; 57th for its consumer price inflation; and 51st for direct investment inflows as a percentage of gross domestic product.

An effective legal environment was listed as the country's most attractive aspect, followed by open and positive attitudes, cost competitiveness and reliable infrastructure.

A skilled workforce and competency of government were listed as the least attractive aspects of the country.

"Progress in institutional framework driven by exchange rate stability contributes to a slight increase in government efficiency (in SA). A minor reduction in crime and some measures on gender disparity also support that increase," states the survey report about South Africa.

"Positive GDP growth and an improving current account deficit suggest that South Africa may be moving out of its transition period, while the continued broad range of export partners supports stability."

Still the same top five

The top five most competitive economies in the world remain the same as in the previous year, but their order has changed.

The US returns to the first spot, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Austria (18th) and China (13th) considerably improved their positions by seven and five places respectively.

The bottom five economies show a slight change in their performance, especially those countries that have experienced economic and political distress in the last few years.

While Mongolia (62nd) and Venezuela (63rd) remain in the last positions, Ukraine (59th) and Brazil (60th) show improvement.

South Africa's competitiveness:

(Source: IMD)

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south africa  |  competitiveness  |  sa economy
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