Portugal leaps up World Economic Forum competitiveness list

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 04-09-2014 14:41:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal leaps up World Economic Forum competitiveness list

Portugal has risen 15 places to 36th in the world competitiveness ranking for 2014-2015 published on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, following a period of almost unbroken decline since 2005.

The world ranking is once more led by Switzerland, followed by Singapore. The US is ranked third, up two places, displacing Finland and Germany, which both dropped one place.
Portugal is in 36th, reversing a trend that had set in since 2005, when it was ranked 22nd. In every year since then, barring 2011, it dropped.
In a statement, the forum noted “the ambitious programme of reforms adopted by the country seems to be starting to bring good results” but stressed that Portugal “must not be complacent and must continue with the complete implementation” of those reforms in order to combat “the persistent macroeconomic concerns”.
In fact, the macroeconomic setting - with Portugal having the sixth largest debt as a share of gross domestic product among the 144 countries analysed - the financial market development, and the efficiency of the labour market dragged down the country’s ranking.

According to the forum, bureaucracy, the tax burden and access to finance are the three “most problematic” for business. Among the positive points are infrastructure - Portugal ranks second in the quality of its roads - primary and tertiary education - management schools are ranked 4th - and technological readiness.
With specific reference to Europe, the WEF once again highlights Portugal’s progress and along with Spain and Greece, says Portugal has made “significant strides to improve the functioning of their markets and the allocation of productive resources.”
But the Forum adds that at the same time, some countries that continue to face major competitiveness challenges, such as France (23rd) and Italy (49th), appear not to have fully engaged in this process.
While the divide between a highly competitive North and a lagging South and East persists, a new outlook on the European competitiveness divide between countries implementing reforms and those that are not can now also be observed.
Some of the world’s largest emerging market economies continue to face difficulties in improving competitiveness. Saudi Arabia (24th), Turkey (45th), South Africa (56th), Brazil (57th), Mexico (61st), India (71st) and Nigeria (127th) all fall in the rankings. China (28th), on the contrary, goes up one position and remains the highest ranked BRICS economy.


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