Bangladesh's competitiveness has moved up globally eight positions to 110th among 148 countries due mainly to macroeconomic stability, infrastructure development and market efficiency.
Few specific policies (monetary policy) and initiatives (public and private investment in the energy and power sector) have contributed towards making positive changes in the competitiveness.
The Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) is an annual publication of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a partner organisation of the WEF, released the report at a press conference at its office in the city on September 09, 2013.
The report said Bangladesh's progress has been slowed down particularly because of further weakening of the financial market and, to some extent, lack of business sophistication including industrial relations.
"Corruption has returned back as the lead constraining factor along with inefficient government bureaucracy," according to the GCR. This indicates that Bangladesh is still struggling with structural and governance weaknesses. Existence of these weaknesses is pulling down the economy from attaining higher level of competitiveness.
The report said political instability has emerged as a growing concern from the perspective of business competitiveness. Entrepreneurs perceived a significant economic slowdown in 2013 perhaps due to political unrest in the run-up to the national parliamentary elections.
Health sector has experienced a number of positive changes in 2013 including better access to public and private sector healthcare services, the report said.
Financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation have also been considered to prepare the competitiveness index.
Switzerland topped the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), followed by Singapore, Finland, Germany and the United States. Among the South Asian nations, India ranked 60th, while Sri Lanka 65th, Bhutan 109th and Nepal 117th.
Source: Financial Express (September 10, 2013)
Sayed Farrukh Ahmed
Faculty of Business & Economics
Daffodil International University