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Taiwan up to 11th in IMD competitiveness rankings

SUCCESSFUL POLICY: The returns of Taiwanese firms achieved remarkable results, while foreign investment has also increased significantly, Kung Ming-hsin said

Taipei Times – Staff writer, with CNA, BRUSSELS

Taiwan has moved up five places from last year to 11th in the latest annual world competitiveness rankings released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on the 16th of June.

It is the nation’s best performance in the past four years, after ranking 14th in 2016 and 2017, 17th in 2018 and 16th last year, and the first time it was ranked as high as 11th since the 2015 rankings.

The National Development Council said the improvement demonstrates that enterprises are still highly competitive in terms of production efficiency and operational management, despite changes in the international economic and trade environment, while government effectiveness has also gained international recognition.

Taiwan also remained the third-most competitive economy in Asia, behind Singapore and Hong Kong, the report showed.

The global top 10 was led by Singapore, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the US, it showed.

The IMD ranked 63 economies based on four categories — economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure — using data from last year and a survey of business executives in the first quarter of this year on their outlook for their nation’s economy.

Taiwan’s ranking in government efficiency improved from 12th last year to ninth, from 14th to 12th in business efficiency and from 19th to 15th in infrastructure.

It fell back from 15th to 17th in the economic performance category, despite making a huge leap in the ranking for the domestic economy, from 25th to 10th.

Rankings for international trade and investment also rose slightly to 27th and 26th respectively, compared with 31st and 28th last year.

National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that the returns of Taiwanese businesses had achieved remarkable results last year, while the average annual amount of foreign investment over the past four years has grown significantly compared with the previous four years.

Overall investment has performed well, such as offshore wind power investment, which is not only an important pillar to support economic growth, but also an important reason the nation’s ranking has risen when the international environment is poor, Kung said.

However, Taiwan was hurt by a fall in the employment sub-category from 25th last year to 31st and also in the prices sub-category from 11th to 14th, the report showed.

Other indicators that showed improvement were the labor market (up seven spots to 25th), basic infrastructure (up seven spots to 32nd) and institutional framework (up seven spots to 12th).

In the survey of business executives, respondents identified Taiwan’s skilled workforce, quality of corporate governance, reliable infrastructure, high educational levels, and open and positive attitudes as the top factors that made the economy attractive.

Improving cultivation, retention and recruitment of digital talent; accelerating industrial innovation and digital transformation of enterprises; and moving toward environmental sustainability were seen as the nation’s main challenges this year, the report said.

Content source: Taipei Times