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India climbs 16 places on global competitiveness index of WEF

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 30, 2015  | 08:03 IST
In Asia, three economies - Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong are among the top ten.
In Asia, three economies - Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong are among the top ten. (Photo: Mail Today)

India has climbed 16 places and ranked at 55th position in this year's Global Competitiveness Index, signalling an improvement and recovery of its economy.

An important indicator of the economy showing signs of revival is improvement noted in terms of India's institutions ranked 60th out of 140 countries up by 10 places. India's competitiveness has also been helped by a slight improvement in infrastructure - up 6 places to 81 and in its macroeconomic environment which has been helped by a reduction in commodity prices and improvement in the government's budget deficit .

To improve further, India must stay the course: its overall ranking is still hampered by one of the highest budget deficits in the world (131 out of 140), the quality of its electricity supply which is still too low (91st) and, surprisingly for a country with so many IT champions, the overall technology readiness of its businesses, which comes in at a poor 120, up just one position on 2014.

The survey top executives also finds corruption followed by political instability and inflation, as the most problematic factor to doing business in India.

The findings are part of the Switzerland based World Economic Forum 's The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016. Switzerland, Singapore and the US are at the top of the Global Competitiveness Index, which profiles 140 economies. The global survey has worrying signs for world economy.

There are indications that suppressed economic and productivity growth and persistently high unemployment is damaging resilience and leaving the world vulnerable to another protracted slump.

Emerging markets represent the greatest cause for concern, with many of the larger markets seeing reverses this year, having failed to enact crucial institutional and market reforms during better times (India being the notable exception). "In Europe, we see improvement in many southern economies, helping narrow slightly the region's north-south divide. Access to finance remains the key challenge across the region, however. In Asia, three economies - Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong appear in the top ten; the ASEAN bloc continues to perform strongly and China holds steady on 28th," a statement from the World Economic Forum said.

The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 140 countries. This year's edition found a correlation between highly competitive countries and those that have either withstood the global economic crisis or made a swift recovery from it.

The failure, particularly by emerging markets, to improve competitiveness since the recession suggests future shocks to the global economy could have deep and protracted consequences.

(In association with Mail Today)

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