BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Zimbabwe at 127 among 141 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), an indication that the southern African nation remains uncompetitive compared to other economies in the world.
Last year it was ranked 128 out of 140 countries.
In its latest assessment of the factors behind productivity and long-term economic growth, WEF ranked Zimbabwe at 127, close to the foot of the league table where it has been for two decades.
This effectively flies in the face of government’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
For that rank, the country scored 44,3 out of a possible 100, thereby remaining slightly below the average for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole and behind eight Southern African Development Community member States.
“Those who believe that it makes sense to try and maintain the local currency at par with the rand need to reconcile this proposal with the yawning gap between South Africa’s ranking (60th) in the Global Competitiveness table and Zimbabwe’s position of 127,” writes Tony Hawkins, a retired professor of economics in an article published recently in the NewsDay.
“Strikingly, the country scores best in the realm of private sector activity and worst where the State is in control,” he further wrote.
On the 12 pillars of competitiveness, among 141 countries, Zimbabwe ranks at 125th on institutions, infrastructure (129), ICT adoption (112), macro-economic stability (97), health (135), skills (110), product market (136), labour market (115), financial system (120), market size (115), business dynamism (129) and innovation capacity (126).
Hawkins indicated that on the upside, it is in the top half of countries ranked for reliance on professional management, willingness to delegate, entrepreneurial culture and attitudes towards risk, and the strength of auditing and reporting standards.
“It is in the top half also for the impact of organised crime and incidence of terrorism.”
The global competitiveness report is a tool to help the governments, private sector and civil society organisations to work together to boost productivity and generate prosperity across the globe. It gives an understanding of comparative analysis between countries and allows leaders to gauge areas that need strengthening and to build coordinated responses.
It further helps to identify best practices around the world and informs about the domestic level performance.
The WEF is a not-for-profit foundation established in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, which organises the annual Davos meeting for world leaders and billionaires.