Wednesday, September 3, 2014

World Economic Forum Improves Pakistan’s Competitiveness Ranking in 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report

World Economic Forum Improves Pakistan’s Competitiveness Ranking.

Securing 129th rank among 144 Economies around the world, Pakistan improves 4 ranks as compared to 2013.

Pakistan has been ranked at 129 out of the 144 economies around the world in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2014 - 2015, released on the 3rd of September 2014 in Geneva.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity, innovation and prosperity.

The report findings show that Switzerland tops the overall rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report for the fifth consecutive year. Singapore remains in second position, the United States in third position, and Finland ranked at 4th.  Germany 5, Japan 6, Hong Kong 7, The Netherlands 8, the United Kingdom 9, and Sweden ranked at 10.

The report evaluates that among the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Pakistan is the at the last among the SAARC member countries at 129, whereas India is at 71, Sri Lanka at 73, Nepal at 102, Bhutan at 103, Bangladesh at 109. Afghanistan and Maldives have not been included in the report this year. However India and Sri Lanka both lost 11 and 8 points respectively as compared to last year.

“Although Pakistan has shown slight improvements on the Global Competitiveness Index, it is still passing though a difficult time”, said Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum. He further said “Pakistan is facing serious challenges on the economic management side; with a double-digit inflation, very low savings rate of 13.2% of the GDP, general government debt at 63.1% of GDP and the 8% budget deficit gives little room for government to create socio-economic dividends for its citizens”. “Pakistan needs to make competitiveness as part of its growth and stabilization strategy for sustainable development across all factors of economy”, Jahangir said.

This year report consists of three main indexes and 12 pillars. Among 144 economies, Pakistan ranked in basic requirements at 134, in efficiency enhancers at 101 and in innovation and sophistication factors ranked at 83. All the 12 pillars included into the report ranks Pakistan as follows: Institutions are ranked at 123, infrastructure at 119, macroeconomic environment at 137, health and primary education at 129, higher education and training at 127, goods market efficiency at 100, labor market efficiency at 132, financial market development at 72, technological readiness at 114, market size at 30, business sophistication at 81 and innovation at 88.

After two consecutive years of steep decline, Pakistan (129th) remains essentially stable since last year. The country obtains low marks in the most critical and basic areas of competitiveness. Its public institutions (125th) are constrained by red tape, corruption, patronage, and lack of property rights protection. Its security situation remains alarming (142nd). Pakistan is the third least safe countries covered, behind only Yemen and Libya.

Thanks to a lower inflation rate and a smaller budget deficit, the country’s macroeconomic situation improves slightly but nevertheless remains dismissal (137th). Pakistan’s infrastructure (119th) particularly for electricity (133rd) is underdeveloped. Moreover, the country’s performance in terms of health and education is among the worst of all the countries covered. Infant mortality (137th) is the highest outside sub-Saharan Africa, and with one of the lowest enrollment rates in the world (132nd) is the estimated that almost a quarter of children do not go to primary school.

Pakistan’s competitiveness is further penalized by the many rigidities and inefficiencies of its labor market (132nd, up six). Female participation in the labor force is the world’s fifth lowest (140th). The potential for ICTs is not sufficiently leveraged and access to ICTs remain low (114th). On a slightly more positive note, Pakistan does comparatively better in the more advanced areas captured by the Global Competitiveness Index ranking 72nd in the financial development pillar and 81st on the business sophistication pillar.

The most problematic areas in doing business in Pakistan stipulated in the report include corruption as the leading factor, along with, policy instability, access to financing, inefficient government bureaucracy, inflation, inadequate supply of infrastructure, government instability/coups, crime and theft, inadequately educated workforce, tax rates, tax regulations, poor public health and insufficient capacity to innovate. 

The most problematic factors for doing business in Pakistan: Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report is the most influential ranking of a country’s economic competitiveness and it affects Pakistan’s image in the world among business, governments and financial leaders. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.

“The global economy may have exited crisis mode, but the path to sustainable growth remains uncertain,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Quality growth is key to reinforcing inclusiveness and it is imperative that leaders act now to underscore prosperity and productivity for the future.”

On the global side the health of the global economy is at risk, despite years of bold monetary policy, as countries struggle to implement structural reforms necessary to help economies grow. In its annual assessment of the factors driving countries’ productivity and prosperity, the report identifies uneven implementation of structural reforms across different regions and levels of development as the biggest challenge to sustaining global growth. It also highlights talent and innovation as two areas where leaders in the public and private sectors need to collaborate more effectively in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development.

The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2004. Defining 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.

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

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pakistan needs to improve its digital eco-system for sustained economic growth.

Pakistan needs to improve its digital eco-system for sustained economic growth.

Pakistan needs to improve its digital eco-system for sustained economic growth;Global Information Technology Report 2014, World Economic Forum The Global Information Technology Report 2014

The Global Information Technology Report 2014 features the latest results of the NRI, offering an overview of the current state of ICT readiness in the world. This year’s coverage includes a record number of 148 economies, accounting for over 98 percent of global GDP.

Watch the live launch conference:

The Global Information Technology Report 2014
please click image to download complete report

Pakistan ensures technology affordability to businesses and individual consumers, announced by the Global Information Technology Report 2014 of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

At the rank of 111 among 148 countries, Pakistan’s performance has been relatively stable on the Network Readiness Index 2014 of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan lost 6 ranks as compared to 2013.

Pakistan showed slight improvement on the Business and Innovation Environment pillar by improving in ranking at 101 as compared to 102 last year. Also on the readiness sub-index it improves from 21 in 2013 to 19 this year. The efficiency of legal system in settling disputes has risen from 109 last year to 112 in 2014. Similarly the efficiency of legal system has also deteriorated from 97 to 108 in 2013 and 2014 respectively. 

“One of the key findings of the report is that Pakistan cannot only rely on ICT infrastructure development to become competitive. Rather, the benefits of ICT can only be fully derived when a country implements a holistic strategy aimed at creating conditions for skills, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish alongside modern infrastructure” said Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a country partner institute of the World Economic Forum.

One of the primary concerns for Pakistan is the lack of data protection laws, this can have medium to long-term impact on the development of a knowledge-based industry fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, a burgeon that Pakistan needs to capitalize due to its demographic potential”, Jahangir further added. 

The Report showed concerns on Pakistan’s human capital development on the skills pillar to improve performance on the network readiness index as the quality of the education system has gone bad to worst i.e. 75 (2013) to 84 this year. An alarming decline in the performance in maths and science education has also been pointed out where Pakistan stands at 104 now from the ranking of 88 in 2013. The report showed serious efforts required by both the public and private sector on the extent of staff training where it has lost 16 points and the country stands at an alarming 128 rank. 

The Global Information Technology Report 2014
Please click to download presentation
Pakistan has shown improvements in the business and innovation environment pillar, where availability of latest technologies has improved from 83 (2013) to 79 (2014), however, lack of venture capital has dropped 22 points and ranks at 77 this year. Pakistan is also losing its regional competitiveness advantage on doing business indicators, where number of days to start a business ranks at 98 and the number of procedures to start a business at 119 now.      

The report, highlighting the “affordability of technology”, ranks Pakistan as the 10th most affordable cellular serviced country, where Liberia tops this list while Sri Lanka is at 4th, Bangladesh at 5th and India being on 7th number globally. Pakistan ranks at number 1 on the Internet and telephony competition globally. On monthly subscription charges for fixed (wired) broadband Internet service (PPP $), Pakistan stands on 62 as compared to Sri Lank being the most affordable (among 148 countries), Bangladesh being at 3rd and India at 4th in the region.

On the “businesses usage of technology” Pakistan has improved its indicators, where business-to-business usage of Internet has improved from 116 to 104 this year, similarly the business to consumer usage has also gained improvement by securing the position of 103 from 112 last year.

On the government usage of technology Pakistan showed some depressive performance as importance of ICT to government’s vision has gone from 117 in 2013 to 128 in 2014. Similarly, the government in promoting the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) Pakistan was also weak as this year it ranked at 91 from 77 in 2013.

Little progress is being made in bridging the digital divide between technology savvy nations and others, according to the 13th edition of the Global Information Technology Report 2014. The stalling of progress is worrisome for emerging and developing nations, which are at risk of missing out on many positive impacts information and communications technologies (ICT) bring, including increased innovation, economic competitiveness and greater social inclusion.

In the South Asian region, Pakistan was outperformed by Sri Lank at 76, India 83, Bhutan 94, Iran 104, whereas Pakistan was ahead of Bangladesh at 119 and Nepal 123.

Lower down the Index, many large emerging economies continue to struggle to realize their full digital potential. China (62nd), Brazil (69th) and Mexico (79th) and India (83rd) all drop in the rankings. However, countries that have developed a strong vision to develop their ICT capacity do well, such as the United Arab Emirates (24th), Kazakhstan (38th) or Panama (43rd), which all improved.

With this year’s coverage extending to a record 148 economies, the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) report remains one of the most comprehensive and authoritative assessments of the impact of ICT on competitiveness of nations and the well-being of their citizens.

Published under the theme, “Rewards and Risks of Big Data”, the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the capacity of 148 economies to leverage ICT for growth and well-being. It finds consistency at the top end of the rankings this year, with Finland (1st), Singapore (2nd), Sweden (3rd), the Netherlands (4th), Norway (5th) and Switzerland (6th) all retaining their positions from last year. The United States (7th) continues its upward trajectory, while Hong Kong SAR (8th) and the Republic of Korea (10th) both climb. The United Kingdom (9th) is the only nation in the top 10 to fall.

Network Readiness Index Rankings for 2014:
Global Information Technology Report 2014, World Economic Forum
To measure this, the NRI assesses the preparedness of an economy to fully leverage ICT in terms of:
  1. ICT infrastructure cost of access and the presence of the necessary skills to ensure an optimal use 
  2. Uptake and use of ICT among governments, business and individuals
  3. Business and innovation environment, and the political and regulatory framework
  4. Economic and social impacts accruing from ICT

“Over time, the GITR series has become one of the most respected studies of its kind. It is used extensively by policymakers and relevant stakeholders as a unique tool to identify strengths and weaknesses and to define and build national strategies for developing and better leveraging their digital potential,” said Soumitra Dutta, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and co-editor of the report.

“In addition to the persistent digital divide across countries, governments should also be wary of understanding, identifying and addressing potential internal digital divides so that new opportunities can be created for all and support enhanced social inclusion,” said Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, senior economist at the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network and co-editor of the report.

In this sense, “digital strategies should not focus only on developing the ICT infrastructure, but also in creating the right conditions for an effective use of ICT to boost innovation, competitiveness and higher social inclusion,” said Bruno Lanvin, executive director of INSEAD’s European Competitiveness Initiative (IECI), and of Global Indices projects at INSEAD.
“Nations and organizations need to understand where they stand in terms of a Big Data maturity, assess their progress, and determine what they need to do to extract greater business and organizational benefits from the vast volume of data,” said Bahjat El-Darwiche, partner, Strategy& (formely Booz & Company) and sponsor of the report.

“The Internet of Everything and big data applications are ushering in the next wave of technology innovation,” according to Dr Robert Pepper, vice president of Global Technology Policy at Cisco. "Big data requires big judgment, and the right policies are needed so that the Internet of Everything can deliver on its promise of immense economic and social benefits."

The Global Information Technology Report is the result of a long-standing partnership between the World Economic Forum and INSEAD, and, since last year, with the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. The soft-data on Pakistan for the Global Information Technology Report is generated by Mishal Pakistan through the annual Executive Opinion Survey. 

The NRI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the Forum in collaboration with Partner institutes, a network of over 160 leading research institutes and business organizations. This survey of more than 15,000 executives provides insight into areas critical for networked readiness.


The top 10 countries for embracing IT

Which economies are best placed to benefit from new information and communication technologies (ICTs), bridge the digital divide and extract value from big data?
The Networked Readiness Index (NRI), part of the 2014 Global Information Technology Report: The Risks and Rewards of Big Data, published today, ranks 148 countries for the quality of their digital infrastructure and ability to use ICTs to generate economic growth, foster innovation and improve the well-being of their citizens.
Here is a list of the top 10 economies making the most of the digital age, according to the NRI:
1. Finland tops the rankings for the second consecutive year, thanks to its outstanding digital infrastructure, which the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) says is the best in the world. With more than 90% of its population using the internet, and with high levels of innovation, Finland is reaping the rewards of investing heavily in ICT in the mid-1990s, which it did in response to a financial crisis.
2. Singapore remains in second place in the NRI. Supported by a government with a clear digital strategy, which offers an ICT infrastructure that is relentlessly being improved, and the best online services and highest-quality education systems in the world, this city state has become a knowledge-intensive economy and ICT powerhouse.
3. Sweden stays in third place, reflecting its world-class yet affordable digital infrastructure and stable pro-business environment, despite high tax rates. These strengths have led to outstanding use of ICTs by individuals, businesses and government, as well as one of the highest innovation performances in the world, making Sweden a truly knowledge-based society.
4. The Netherlands also retains its high ranking from the 2013 index. This service-based economy has quickly and skilfully recognized the importance of ICTs in boosting innovation and competitiveness. Information technology permeates all sections of society in the Netherlands, with nearly everyone able to access a computer and home internet connection, and a large number of government services available online.
5. Norway, with a well-developed and affordable ICT infrastructure, sits in fifth place in the NRI. Digital uptake is almost universal among Norway’s population: 95% are internet users and more than 90% have access to a personal computer and internet connection at home. In addition, the country benefits from a stable pro-business and pro-innovation environment and a government that is aware of the importance of connectivity for the economic and social development of a geographically vast nation with a widely dispersed population.
6. Switzerland benefits from an excellent, if expensive, ICT infrastructure and a strong education system that provides the necessary skills to create a knowledge-based, technology-rich economy. These assets, coupled with a stable political and regulatory environment and excellent conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship, have resulted in outstanding digital uptake and use by businesses.
7. The United States moves up two positions to seventh on the list, thanks to improvements in many areas of the index, including the country’s already strong business and innovation environment and ICT infrastructure, notably in terms of wider access to international internet bandwidth. Overall, the country has seen a robust uptake of digital technology by all major stakeholders, whether businesses, governments or individuals.
8. Hong Kong has shown the most pronounced improvement among the top 10, climbing six positions to eighth place. This has been driven by improvements in conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship, better skills training and increased use by both business and government. Hong Kong enjoys a well-developed infrastructure, and this has had a positive economic and social impact.
9. The United Kingdom drops two places from last year. Like the Netherlands, the UK was early in recognizing the importance of ICTs, especially to innovation and competitiveness, and as a result has become highly digitized, with a thriving e-commerce environment. This, coupled with a pro-business approach, has had wide-ranging economic and social benefits.
10. South Korea moves up one position and enters the top 10. A country that has based its economic success largely on the ICT industry, Korea’s government ranks first in the world in terms of online services. The country’s focus on developing its technological capacity as part of its economic development strategy has also improved its reputation for innovation.
Top information technology trends are featured in the Global Information Technology Outlook module ofForum Academy, the Forum’s online professional leadership development platform.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Failure to Tackle Trade Reforms Puts Social and Economic Progress at Risk. Pakistan Ranks at 114 among 138 Countries on the Enabling Trade Index of the World Economic Forum.

Despite challenging environment Pakistan offers relatively efficient border administration for enabling trade, Global Enabling Trade Report 2014, World Economic Forum

Failure to Tackle Trade Reforms Puts Social and Economic Progress at Risk. Pakistan Ranks at 114 among 138 Countries on the Enabling Trade Index of the World Economic Forum.

The report’s Enabling Trade Index indicates that the world’s large emerging economies face enormous challenges as they seek to enable trade and progress to the next stage of their development. Barriers to trade are holding back the global economic recovery. Many governments are still failing to enact sometimes-straightforward reforms that could have a far-reaching effect on growth and social progress, according to The Global Enabling Trade Report (GETR).

Pakistan has been ranked at 114 among the 138 countries being evaluated on the Global Trade Enabling Index of the World Economic Forum. There are number of challenges in Pakistan’s economy which effects country’s performance on Global Enabling Trade Index. However despite challenging environment Pakistan offers relatively efficient border administration systems for enabling trade with Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s performance on the four sub-indices is also reflective of its integration into the global trade, where Pakistan has been ranked as 128 on Market Access, 71 on Border Administration, 95 on the Transport and Communications Infrastructure and 123 on the Business Environment”, this was revealed by Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a country partner institute of the World Economic Forum.

“After several difficult years trying to advance the Doha Round, the Bali package, with the Trade Facilitation Agreement at its centre, provides a much-needed window to focus on eliminating the practical obstacles to trade. In this light, we believe the report’s unique measurements will help leaders to identify successful policies and areas for improvement,” said Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

In the SAARC region, Pakistan outperformed Bangladesh and Nepal at 115 and 116 respectively on the Global Trade Enabling Index but lacked behind Sri Lanka (84), India (96) and Bhutan (107).

Among the BRICs, China, the world’s largest exporter, ranks 54th out of 138 economies, a few notches ahead of South Africa (59th).  Brazil (86th), India (96th) and the Russian Federation (105th) achieve disappointing performances, appearing in the bottom half of the ranking. Turkey (56th) leads the MINT group, ahead of Indonesia (58th) and Mexico (61st).  Nigeria (124th) is near the bottom.

Common barriers to trade in the developing and emerging world include red tape at borders, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and low levels of security. Among advanced economies, most apply low import tariffs, but some, such as Switzerland, Norway and EU members, have complex tariff regimes that are hard to navigate.

The good news is that some of these barriers, such as inefficiencies related to border clearance, can be removed relatively quickly, at a low cost and using limited political capital. The Report points to a number of success stories ranging from Chile (8th), to Malaysia (25th) and Mauritius (29th) that have been able to considerably improve their standing through targeted reforms and investments.

The Global Enabling Trade Report 2014 assesses the performance of 138 economies, in four areas: market access; border administration; infrastructure; and the operating environment. At the top end of the scale, the Index shows Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, and the Netherlands as the most successful countries in terms of enabling trade.

The assessment is based on the Enabling Trade Index, a methodology that measures the extent to which economies have in place institutions, policies, infrastructures and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destination. These trade-enabling factors are organized in seven pillars: 1) domestic market access; 2) foreign market access; 3) efficiency and transparency of border administration; 4) availability and quality of transport infrastructure; 5) availability and quality of transport services; 6) availability and use of ICTs; and 7) operating environment. For this fifth edition of the report, the framework has been improved and enriched with a number of new indicators.To measure these various aspects, a total of 56 individual indicators were sourced from various international organizations, including the International Trade Centre, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank, as well as World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey. The Executive Opinion Survey is done by Mishal Pakistan in close collaboration with WEF in Pakistan. Other data partners include the Global Express Association.These findings will be discussed at a special session at the World Economic Forum on Latin America, which takes place in Panama, 1-3 April.

The Global Enabling Trade Report 2014 is part of the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade programme, supported by the Forum’s Supply Chain & Transport Industry Partnership community, which includes A.P. Möller Maersk, AB Volvo, Agility, Brambles Limited, Brightstar Corp., Deutsche Post DHL, DNB ASA, Emirates Group, International Container Terminal Services Inc., Royal Vopak, Stena AB, Swiss International Airlines Ltd, Transnet SOC Ltd, UPS and Volkswagen AG

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mishal to Conduct Nationwide Survey to Measure Pakistan’s Global Competitiveness Ranking for 2014-2015

Mishal to Conduct Nationwide Survey to Measure Pakistan’s Global Competitiveness Ranking for 2014-2015

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal will conduct the Executive Opinion Surveys across Pakistan.

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal Pakistan will conduct the Executive Opinion Survey 2014 in Pakistan beginning in March 2014. 

The Executive Opinion Survey, “The Voice of the Business Community” is a major component of The Global Competitiveness Report and provides the key ingredient that turns the Report into a representative annual measure of a nation’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth. The Survey gathers valuable information on a broad range of variables for which hard data sources are scarce or nonexistent. High-level business executives operating in Pakistan will be surveyed to capture their opinion on the business environment in which they operate.

The Global Competitiveness Report has been the World Economic Forum’s flagship publication since 1979 and is widely recognized as the world’s leading cross-country comparison of factors affecting economic competitiveness and growth.

A sample of company executives in Pakistan will be asked to complete this important and confidential survey.  Mr. Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan notes that it is vitally important that each executive sampled complete the survey to ensure that Pakistan has accurate and reliable data in the Report. The report for 2014-2015 is expected to be issues in the Q4 of 2014.

Established in 2003, Mishal Pakistan is the Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness & Benchmarking Network, World Economic Forum. As a partner institute Mishal is working on measuring Pakistan’s performance on multiple international indices and reports including the Global Competitiveness Index/Report, Global Gender Gap Index, Global Enabling Trade Index, Global Information Technology Report - Network Readiness Index, Financial Development Index and the Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.