Sri Lanka’s Global Competitiveness rank reflects exports, govt weakness: WEF report


Oct 04, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka fell three notches to 71st in terms of the Global Competitiveness Index for 2016-2017 compiled by the World Economic Forum, with poor ratings on exports, debt to GDP and labour market flexibility.

Sri Lanka came in at 110th in terms of exports as a percentage of GDP, 107th in terms of government debt to GDP, and the budget balance was ranked 114th in the world out of 138 countries.

“The most advanced economy in the region, Sri Lanka, slipped three positions to 71st, but with a stable score.”

“After years of conflict, the country needs to concentrate on triggering the efficiencies that will drive further growth — for example, by restructuring the labor market and investing in technological readiness, where it lags significantly behind economies at a similar stage of development.”

India led the group of South Asian economies, climbing to 39th with improvements across the board,
including institutions and infrastructure.

“The region remains diverse, with a core of three heavyweight economies — India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — surrounded by smaller ones such as Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, each with its own peculiarities and unique development path,” the report stated.

Sri Lanka’s labour market flexibility came in at a poor 131st, with female participation in the labour force at 126th.

Ethics and corruption came in at 78th in the world, with public trust in politicians unsurprisingly at 89th place. Favoritism in decisions of government officials was a poor 88th.

In terms of positive rankings, business sophistication reflected by value chain breadth came in at 48th, and extent of marketing at 36th in the world. Transport infrastructure was rated 55th, and gross national savings as a percentage of GDP was above average at 41.

Sri Lanka ranked 38th for government procurement of advanced technology products, and 32nd for availability of scientists and engineers, although ICT usage ranked 108th.

Sri Lanka shared first position with several countries for the annual percentage change in inflation.

Higher education and training saw average rankings, and although financial market efficiency ranked 48th, trust and confidence in the financial market came in at 84th place.

Sri Lanka’s ranking can be accessed here