Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pakistan Shows Impressive Improvements on Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 Ranks Pakistan at 115 Among 137 Countries

Pakistan at 115, Improves Seven Ranks on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018

Pakistan improves seven ranks on the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. For the ninth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, United States and Singapore ranks at second and third respectively.

Islamabad/Geneva, Switzerland, 27 September 2017 – Pakistan has shown impressive performance and extraordinary recovery on key competitiveness indicators. The country has been successful in strengthening and improving its institutions and macroeconomic framework, showing stability and improvements to its global competitiveness footing.
The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving countries’ productivity and prosperity. the World Economic Forum defines competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories – the pillars of competitiveness – that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness.

Drawing on data going back 10 years, the report highlights in particular three areas of greatest concern. These include the financial system, where levels of “soundness” have yet to recover from the shock of 2007 and in some parts of the world are declining further. This is especially of concern given the important role the financial system will need to play in facilitating investment in innovation related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Pakistan’s ranking at 115 is measured by the twelve pillars of Competitiveness. On the institutions pillar, Pakistan improved 21 ranks and stands at 90 from 111 last year. Infrastructure improved from 116 to 110, on the Macroeconomic Stability Pillar Pakistan improved 10 ranks and stands at 106.

On other pillars, among 137 countries, Pakistan ranks at Health and Primary Education 129, losing one rank from last year, Higher Education and Training improved from 123 to 120, Goods Market Efficiency 107, Labour Market Efficiency 128, Financial Market Development jumped from 107 to 96, Technological Readiness 111. Maintaining the regional competitiveness edge Pakistan ranks at 28 on the pillar of Market Size. Also showing sustained improvements on Business Sophistication the rank changed from 95 last year to 81 in 2017, while on the Innovation pillar an impressive improvement of 15 points now places Pakistan at 60 rank on the global competitiveness index. 

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness andBenchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum said, “Pakistan is classified as a factor driven economy, which primarily depends on improving its institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education indicators. Pakistan has managed to resist the global crisis and has shown resilience for economic recovery. Globally countries that are competitive have shown resilience to crisis. However, the reforms agenda still remains an unfinished business”. He further said, “this year the Report also shows performance of the political government and its ability and understanding to address the competitiveness challenges.”  He also said, “the country needs to concentrate on its primary health and education to benefit from the demographic dividend it offers”. With the convergence of data and policy, Pakistan has huge potential to make an impact of globally policy making for sustainable development initiatives.

This year among 114 global competitiveness indicators, Pakistan showed improvements on 82 key indices, whereas on 20 indices the country lost its previous position. While on 12 indices Pakistan, retained its position as last year.

Competitiveness has improved across most countries in South Asia, in particular in the two Himalayan countries of Bhutan (82nd, up 15) and Nepal (88th, up 10). On a similarly positive trend, Pakistan (115th, up seven) and Bangladesh (99th, up seven) have both improved their scores across all pillars of competitiveness. Both India (40th, down one) and Sri Lanka (85th, down 14 ranks) had corruption and inefficient government bureaucracy as key factors for hindering progress. Upgrading ICT infrastructure and increasing ICT use remain among the biggest challenges for the region: over the past decade, South Asia has been the area where technological readiness stagnated the most.

The analysis from Mishal, the country partner institute for Pakistan also shows performance of some of the key regulatory bodies and other government institutions, which have shown progress as well. Among 138 countries the institutions are ranked as following: Intellectual Property Organization (97), Judicial Independence (80), Police Services (116), Auditor General of Pakistan Revenues (110), National Highways Authority (76), Pakistan Railways (52), Civil Aviation Authority (91), NEPRA (115), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (116), National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (99), Competition Commission of Pakistan (70), Pakistan Customs (93), State Bank of Pakistan among other 138 Central Banks at (89), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan at (91) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (135).

The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 also identifies Corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in Pakistan, followed by tax rates, government instability/coups and crime and thefts. 

To improve the soft-data on Pakistan, the World Economic Forum worked closely with Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of WEF. This year a total of 526 respondents from the business community were reached out through the annual Executive Opinion Survey, whereas 236 were selected from last year and 290 from this year. The World Economic Forum reached out to more than 12,000 business leaders globally. This year Pakistan had the third largest sample size in the world after China and Mexico.

“Global competitiveness will be more and more defined by the innovative capacity of a country. Talents will become increasingly more important than capital and therefore the world is moving from the age of capitalism into the age of talentism. Countries preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and simultaneously strengthening their political, economic and social systems will be the winners in the competitive race of the future,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Another key finding is that competitiveness is enhanced, not weakened, by combining degrees of flexibility within the labour force with adequate protection of workers’ rights. With vast numbers of jobs set to be disrupted as a result of automation and robotization, creating conditions that can withstand economic shock and support workers through transition periods will be vital.

The Report states that, “Despite positive development, leaders are facing major predicaments when it comes to economic policy. Uneven distribution of the benefits of economic progress, generational divides, rising income inequality in advanced economies, and increasing environmental degradation have heightened the sense that the economic policies of past years have not served citizens or society well. Coupled with growth rates that remain below historical levels, these quandaries put many prevalent models of economic growth and related policies into question. Major technological disruption and the new fault lines emerging in the global economic and political order add further uncertainty about the types of policies that will make economies future-proof. Taken together, all of these factors are challenging decision makers to find new approaches and policies to advance economic progress.”

The report also highlights on why quantitative easing and other monetary policy measures have been insufficient in reigniting long-term growth for the world’s advanced economies. The report finds that interventions by economies with comparatively low GCI scores failed to generate the same effect as those performed in economies with high scores, suggesting that strong underlying competitiveness is a key requirement for successful monetary stimulus.

The report offers insight into how priorities may be shifting for nations in earlier stages of development. While basic drivers of competitiveness such as infrastructure, health, education and well-functioning markets will always be important, data in the GCI suggests that a nation’s performance in terms of technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation is now as important in driving competitiveness and growth.

The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2005. The 12 pillars of Competitiveness are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.

Key Findings:
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Monday, December 12, 2016

AGAHI AWARDS Celebrates Journalism Integrity - First Journalism Awards on Competitiveness Reporting

AGAHI AWARDS Celebrates Journalism Integrity - First Journalism Awards on Competitiveness Reporting

Pakistan’s most credible journalists recognized for their work at the annual AGAHI Awards in more than 40 categories.

  • ARY News Wins the Favorite News Channel of the Year, 
  • Waseem Badami Favorite Current Affairs Anchor (male),
  • Aysha Buksh Favorite Current Affairs Anchor (female) for 2016 in the People’s Choice categories. 
  • Naseem Zehra of Channel 24 recognized as the Most Credible Anchor of the Year 2016. 
  • Arshad Sharif and Adeel Raja “AGAHI Awards Investigative Journalists of the Year.

Winners of the AGAHI Awards 2016 with the Guests of Honors
Islamabad, PK – 10 December 2016: The efforts of journalists and media community are recognized every year through the AGAHI Awards. The AGAHI Awards acknowledges journalists’ professional commitment to promote accountability to safeguard public interest. Quality journalism heightens collective consciousness of a society that builds a nation’s identity and purpose. The best of the media industry striving for Ethical Journalism from all across Pakistan were recognized as Journalist of the Year in their respective categories today at the National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad.

The ceremony was hosted by senior journalists, Mubashir Zaidi and Amber Shamsi. This year AGAHI Awards received more than 3500 nominations from all over the country in more than 35 different categories from print, television, radio and online media. The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response by the journalist community - where AGAHI Awards reached more than 6 million Pakistanis through social media and almost 1.5 million through SMS for the Peoples’ Choice Awards categories including “Favorite News Channel of the Year” and “Current Affairs Anchors of the Year” in Pakistan. For the first time in the region, the AGAHI Awards also deployed big data and sentiments analysis to measure the people's choice categories.

Puruesh Chaudhary, President AGAHI and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards while speaking to the participants said, “We can improve our way of thinking if we work together, the media can play an incredible role in helping the decision-makers identify people-centric challenges and opportunities thereby enabling them to opt for the right choices. AGAHI Awards is a step in that direction.”  

This is the first year the AGAHI Awards will include the special category ‘Eliminating Hidden Hunger & Malnutrition.’  Pakistan has one of the highest rates of stunting with nearly half of all children in Pakistan malnourished. With the support of the Australian Government and Mishal, the new category aims to encourage journalists to write more on this important issue.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Margaret Adamson said the Australian Government was supporting the special category to encourage journalists to raise community awareness of such a critical issue through better informed reporting. “Australia's aid program is supporting a range of programs underway to improve nutrition and food security in Pakistan. I am confident this initiative will help build the capacity of journalists to effectively report on this issue and in turn inform the high priority by policy makers and legislators to implementing cross cutting measures, with supporting funding, to eliminate the urgent issue of malnutrition and hidden hunger in Pakistan,” Ms. Adamson said.  

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAH Awards, in his welcome address said, “For the first time in the history of journalism, the content and the knowledge creator is taking the lead. In this new ecosystem, the guardians of the infrastructure are becoming irrelevant. It’s the journalist, who is taking the center stage now”. He further said, “Journalists are the drivers of public discourse, shaping policies, their stories are becoming a vital link between the citizens and the state”.

AGAHI Awards recognizes “Credibility” as the key currency for public trust for the attention economy, where media becomes the platform to create social values and transparency. AGAHI Awards is the recognition of journalists who have shown personal integrity and professional excellence to make Pakistan a more informed nation.

The AGAHI Awards 2016 Recognized the following “Journalists of the Year” in the following categories: 

* Nasim Zehra (Most Credible Anchor of the Year),  
* Waseem Badami (Peoples' Choice Awards: Favorite Current Affairs Anchor – Male), 
* Ayesha Buksh (Peoples’ Choice Awards: Favorite Current Affairs Anchor – Female), 
* ARY News (Peoples’ Choice Awards: Favorite News Channel of the Year),
* Arshad Sharif and Adeel Raja (Investigative Journalists of the Year),

*      Javeria Siddique (Agriculture), 
*      Naimat Khan (Anti-Corruption), 
*      Adnan Aamir (Business & Economy), 
*      Shafi Moosa Mansoori (Citizen Empowerment), 
*      Shumaila Jaffery (Women Empowerment), 
*      Muhammad Sameer Saleem (Youth Empowerment), 
*      Samiullah Randhawa (Climate Change), 
*      Mubarek Zeb Khan (Competitiveness), 
*      Muhammad Irfan Haider & Sadia Qasim Shah (Conflict), 
*      Muhammad Shahzad (Corporate Social Responsibility), 
*      Adil Aziz Khanzada (CPEC), 
*      Shahzia Nisar (Creating Shared Value), 
*      Zehra Nawab (Culture & Tourism), 
*      Syed Muhammad Abubaker (Disasters and Catastrophe), 
*      Naqeebullah Taran (Education), 
*      Muhammad Luqman (Eliminating Hidden Hunger), 
*      Fazal Rahim Awan (Entrepreneurship), 
*      Muhammad Shahzad (Extremism and Terrorism), 
*      Muhammad Akbar Notezai (Foreign Policy), 
*      Ahsan Raza (South Asia Bridge Initiative – SABI), 
*      Muhammad Akbar Notezai (Foresight and Futures), 
*      Wali Zahid (Governance), 
*      Muhammad Shahid (Health), 
*      Haroon Siraj (Human Rights), 
*      Fariha Fatima (Infotainment), 
*      Zeeshan Anwar (Innovation Journalism), 
*      Hassan Bilal Zaidi (Information Communication Technology), 
*      Khalid Khattak (Innovation), 
*      Muhammad Suhail Yusuf (Reporting On Science), 
*      Imran Malik (Institutional Reforms), 
*      Zaheer Uddin Babar (Journalism for Peace), 
*      Muhammad Atif Sheikh (Media Ethics), 
*      Ihtisham ul Haq (Nutrition), 
*      Zahid Gishkori (Open Government), 
*      Sadia Seher (Photo Journalism - Print), 
*      Hussain Afzal (Video Journalism Television), 
*      Sheharyar Ali (Rule of Law), 
*      Saeed Badshah (Sports), 
*      Shehzad Ahmad (Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights - SRHR),
*      Syed Muhammad Abubakar (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs), 
*      Fazal Khaliq (Vocational Training & Technical Education),
*      Syed Muhammad Abubakar (Water Diplomacy), 
*      Muhammad Suhail Yusuf (Water, Energy & Food Security Nexus)
Inaugurated on March 28th, 2012, the AGAHI Awards are Pakistan’s first ever journalism awards recognizing the best journalists across print, television, radio and the internet on more than 40 different journalism thematic beats. AGAHI and Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with leading press clubs across the country, local and international media development bodies, regulatory authorities and the private sector organize these awards.

The AGAHI Awards are the most sought after journalism recognition in Pakistan. The Awards have been the foremost development initiative for media and journalism in the country. The awards have identified some of the most talented and diligent journalists in the industry. The AGAHI Awards winners have now acquired decision-making and leadership position across the media industry for “Shaping the Future of Journalism” in Pakistan.

The AGAHI Awards were co-founded by Mishal Pakistan and AGAHI. The evaluation methodology and selection criteria of the awards have been designed in collaboration with the Center for Internet and Media Ethics (CIME) and on the pillars of Media Development Indicators of UNESCO, with input from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Awards have been organized in collaboration with leading press clubs, local and international media development institutions, regulatory authorities, civil society organizations, private and public sector bodies and other stakeholders.

Leading opinion makers, senior journalists, policy makers, diplomats, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony. The AGAHI Awards have been the foremost media development initiative for media and journalism in the country. The awards have identified some of the most talented and diligent journalists in the industry. The AGAHI Awards winners have now acquired decision-making and leadership position across the media industry for “Shaping the Future of Journalism” in Pakistan.

Mishal Pakistan is the country partner Institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks at the World Economic Forum. Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with key stakeholders in Pakistan to improve the state of media and competitiveness through good governance initiatives.

AGAHI is a not for profit working since 2011 to create non-paid communication strategies and strategic foresight. AGAHI encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan. It works on developmental frameworks facilitating information and knowledge sharing platforms on understanding challenges in global perspective. It’s research work mainly focuses on national and international security, ICT, human capital development, and governance.