The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is still a work in progress, but it has already helped Pakistan’s economy climb several notches on the global competitiveness scale.
Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor and chair of the Department of Economics at Long Island University in Brookville, NY, wrote in his Forbes column that while Pakistan ranking 115th out of 137 countries in the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report was still low compared to its neighbouring countries, it is a big improvement from the 122th position the country occupied last year, and the 133th position back in 2014.
One reason for this improvement, he noted, was Pakistan’s progress in the infrastructure “pillar” of the report, where the country is ranked 110th.
Pakistan has improved its overall position by seven places in the influential Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF), crawling out of the bottom-20, but continued to languish at the last place among South Asian countries, revealed the 2018 report.
The 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Report, which compared governance in 137 countries this time as opposed to 138 in the previous year, ranked Pakistan at 115th – 22 places from the bottom, compared to 16th from the bottom last year. Last year, the WEF had conducted survey in 138 nations and Pakistan was placed at 122. Overall, Pakistan jumped seven positions, but the performance remains sub-par when compared with the amount of stress and priority laid on the country’s competitiveness.
This year, among 114 global competitiveness indicators, Pakistan showed improvements on 82 key indices, whereas on 20 indices the country lost its previous position. In 12 indices, the position remained the same as last year.
The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving countries’ productivity and prosperity. The WEF defines competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.
Pakistan’s ranking at 115 is measured by 12 pillars of Competitiveness. On the institutions pillar, Pakistan improved 21 ranks and stood at 90 from 111 last year. Infrastructure improved from 116 to 110, on the macroeconomic stability pillar Pakistan improved 10 ranks and stood at 106.
An encouraging sign, according to the survey, was that the trust of people on politicians further improved and the country’s ranking on this indicator stood at 62 this year compared with 85 in the previous year. Judicial independence was further strengthened and the country secured 80th position -eight notches better the previous year.