Zambia in top 10 most competitive economies in Africa for 2013


The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Zambia as one of the top 10 most competitive economies in Africa for 2013.
The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, which was released in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday ranked Zambia as the seventh most competitive economy in Africa ahead of Kenya, Gabon and Senegal.
According to the report accessed in Lusaka yesterday, Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer, trails Namibia, Seychelles, Botswana, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius, which were ranked as the most competitive economies in Africa.
Out of the 148 countries surveyed globally, Zambia moves from last year’s 102nd position to 93rd as one of the countries which recorded remarkable progress.
The ranking was based on the Global Competitive Index, which was introduced in 2004 and could be defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determined the level of productivity of a country.
Its 12 pillars were institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and colleges, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technology, market size, business sophistication and innovation.
“A number of African middle-income economies – Botswana (74th), Namibia (90th), Zambia (93rd), Senegal (113th), Lesotho (123rd) and Swaziland (124th) – improved, while oil-producing economies, Gabon (112th), Cameroun (115th) Nigeria (120th) and Chad (148th) – stagnated or declined in the ranking,” reads the report partly.
Among the low-income countries, Kenya made the biggest improvement, rising by 10 places to 96th position in the world.
Globally, Switzerland maintained its first position and so did Singapore and Finland on second and third positions, respectively.
Other countries in the world top 10 most competitive economies were Germany, United States of America (USA), Sweden, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom on 10th position.
“Overall, wide regional divergences remain, and a number of African economies continue to trail behind significantly, with 14 of its economies populating the bottom 20 of the ranking.
“Efforts across many areas are needed to place the region on a sustainable growth and development path, especially in infrastructure, health and basic education and adoption of the latest technologies,” the report says.
It places Switzerland at the pinnacle of the ranking for the fifth consecutive year.
Globally, excellent innovation and strong institutional environments were increasingly influencing the economies’ competitiveness.
The US continued to be a world leader in bringing innovative products and services to the global market and its rise in the ranking was due to a perceived improvement in the country’s financial market and great confidence in public institutions.
There, however, had been continued concerns over that vast country’s macro-economic stability which ranked 117 out of 148 economies.