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BRICS competitiveness levels rise
September 28, 2016, 3:17 pm

India and China are the best performing BRICS economies according to the Global Competitiveness scale [Xinhua]

India and China are the best performing BRICS economies according to the Global Competitiveness scale [Xinhua]

Most BRICS countries have moved up in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017.

India’s 16-point jump to 39th position is the most notable.

The report measures how well the 138 countries in focus manage all their resources and competencies to facilitate long-term value creation.

The four principal factors of measure are economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

But the study also examines 114 indicators that “capture concepts that matter for productivity and long-term prosperity.”

“These indicators are grouped into 12 pillars: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.”

The report made note of the fact that global economic growth remains low and unemployment persistently high “despite substantive efforts to re-ignite recovery”.

The effects of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US which sparked a global financial crisis are still being felt, the report said.

Many countries tried to offset the effects of the crisis by resorting to quantitative easing fiscal stimulus. But this may not be sufficient for sustainable economic growth, the report says.

“… monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms,” the report cautions.

It also noted that despite unorthodox monetary policy, global GDP growth has fallen from levels of 4.4 per cent in 2010 to 2.5 per cent in 2015.

While it faced the impact of a corrective economic policy since 2015, China remained highest on the scale – at 28 – among BRICS nations.

Despite battling a recession of its own, Russia moved up two places to 43. South Africa, which has seen its rand currency fluctuate against the dollar, also moved up two places to 47.

Lowest among BRICS was Brazil, falling six places to 81.

The top three countries on the scale were Switzerland, Singapore and the US.

Hong Kong (as a specially administered region of China) came in at 9th place.

The three lowest on the scale were Chad, Mauritania, and Yemen.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Helmo Preuss in Pretoria, South Africa contributed to this report

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