A mammoth task lies ahead of South Africa as the country strives to turn its fortunes around. The 2019 global competitiveness rankings released by the Switzerland‘s Institute of Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) show a drop in South Africa ‘s competitiveness levels in Health infrastructure, Higher education achievement and Energy infrastructure.
South Africa is ranked 60 in Health infrastructure and Higher Education out of 63 countries. Furthermore, South Africa’s overall competitiveness plummeted three places and is positioned 56 out of 63 countries. In 2018, South Africa was ranked 53.
Challenges for South Africa include high and increasing unemployment, especially youth unemployment and low economic growth and falling contributions of primary and secondary sectors.
The Chief Economist at Productivity SA, Dr Leroi Raputsoane says “a holistic approach to competitiveness is essential for the long term health of economies to enable enterprises to achieve sustainable growth, generate employment and, ultimately, enhance the prosperity of citizens”.
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) is an annual report on the competitiveness of selected countries and is recognised internationally as the leading Executive Opinion Survey of competitiveness between nations.
It rates the ability of 63 industrialised and emerging economies to create and maintain an environment that sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. The rankings are drawn from a combination of hard data and an Executive Opinion Survey.
Country data is evaluated through distinct criteria, grouped into four competitiveness factors, namely: government efficiency, business efficiency, economic performance and infrastructure. Productivity SA is the information partner for the IMD in South Africa.
In the four competitive factors for 2019 South Africa performed as follows:
- Economic performance remained stagnant with a rating of 59 in 2018 and 59 in 2019.
- Government efficiency’s performance dropped a notch from 49 in 2018 to 50 in 2019.
- Business efficiency’s performance moved up from 46 in 2018 to 44 in 2019.
- Infrastructure has recorded a major drop from 56 in 2018 to 60 in 2019.
The top five competitive countries in the world are:
- Singapore 1 (from 3 in 2018)
- Hong Kong 2 (from 2 2018)
- USA 3 (from 1 in 2018)
- Switzerland 4 (from 5 in 2018)
- UAE 5 (from 7 in 2018)
The Director IMD World Competitiveness Center and Professor of Finance, Arturo Bris, says ” Competitiveness is a way towards progress that does not result in winners and losers, when two countries compete, both are better off”.