Jordan further declines in WEF competitiveness report
Jordan continued its sharp decline on the Global Competitiveness Report for the second year in a row after the Kingdoms ranking dropped by six places in the 2011-2012 survey released Wednesday, 7th of September. The country, which ranked 65th out of 139 countries in last years World Economic Forum (WEF) report, came in 71st on the list of 142 countries covered this year, according to a copy of the report made available to The Jordan Times.
The fall in Jordans ranking was due to declines in the majority of the 12 pillars used to rank overall competitiveness of each country: Institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. In the institutions pillar, Jordan went down from the 41st spot last year to 45th in this years report, alongside declines from 66th to 72nd in health and primary education, 57th to 59th in higher education and training, 46th to 54th in goods and market efficiency.
The latest report, however, cited improvement in Jordans macroeconomic environment field, in which it rose from 105th in the 2009-2010 report to 97th. According to the WEF survey, Jordan also improved in the labour market efficiency pillar to 107th place from 112th in labour market efficiency, technological readiness from 62nd to 59th, but showed a drop in the financial market sophistication from 54th to 65th and 84th to 88th in market size in addition to a sharp decline in the innovation field from 68th to 77th. The country maintained the 66th place in business sophistication, the report showed.
The report indicated that among the most problematic factors for doing business in Jordan are tax regulations, tax rates, inefficient bureaucracy, restrictive labour regulations, access to financing, an inadequately educated workforce, inflation, poor work ethics in the national labour force, policy instability, crime and theft, and poor public health.
Switzerland tops the overall ranking in the competitiveness report, followed by Singapore, Sweden and Finland while the US fell one place to fourth position. Jordan also maintained eighth place among Arab countries in the report, which ranked Qatar in 14th position worldwide followed by Saudi Arabia (17), the United Arab Emirates (27), Oman (32), Kuwait (34), Bahrain (37) and Tunisia (40).
Following the sharp drop in last years WEF report, the government formed a national team to discuss and address the decline in Jordans ranking by taking into consideration the pillars measured in the global report. The special committee tasked with following up on the report, which held several meetings, was headed by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and included officials from all concerned ministries.