Germany falls in global competitiveness ranking

The republic’s economic activity continues to thrive

Indonesia's ranking in the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index dropped five places in 2019 to 50th out of 141 economies, while Singapore takes over the United States as the world's most competitive country. The report "assesses the ability of countries to provide high levels of prosperity to their citizens". Hong Kong climbed four spots from last year's report, despite the political crisis taking a toll on its economy. Singapore's score increased 1.3 points to 84.4, taking over the top spot this year from the U.S., which saw its competitiveness score decline by two points to 83.7.

Indonesia scored highest in macroeconomic stability (under the "enabling environment" variable) at 90, earning it the 54th rank, as well as market size and business dynamism.

The WEF said that while rising trade tensions, such as the ongoing US-China trade war as well as Brexit, is "fuelling uncertainty", some countries are "benefiting from the trade feud through trade diversion" - Singapore and even Vietnam, which ranked 67th and is the most improved country in this year's index.

South Africa, the second most competitive in the region, improves to the 60th position, while Namibia (94th), Rwanda (100th), Uganda (115th) and Guinea (122nd) all improve significantly, the WEF showed.

The press release added that in South Asia, India was ranked 68, Sri Lanka was ranked 84 - the most improved country in the region, Bangladesh ranked 105, and Nepal ranked 108. The poor health conditions and low life expectancy have also contributed to India's low rank in terms of competitiveness according to the report.

WEF said on Wednesday that "persistent weakness" in productivity growth in the last 15 years or so meant the global economy was more "frail".

Besides, India needs to grow its skills base, while its product market efficiency is undermined by a lack of trade openness and the labour market is characterised by a lack of worker rights' protections, insufficiently developed active labour market policies and critically low participation of women.

The country has, however, performed well on certain indicators such as "market size", "future-oriented government", "shareholder governance", and "renewable energy regulation".

The WEF report focused upon the fact low productivity has plagued the global economy since the financial crash - despite its calculations of a $10 trillion cash injection from central banks.

Authors say it's too early to fully assess the impact of some of the operative factors in the world economy over the previous year, notably rising trade tensions between the USA and China that's led to tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods imposed.

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