T&T improves ranking

...but Govt bu­reaucracy biggest woe in global competitiveness

By Leah Sorias

Trinidad and Tobago has climbed three not­ches on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2014-2015. The GCI, compiled by the World Economic Forum, showed this country moved from number 92 last year to number 89 this year.
But it pointed to inefficient Government bu­reaucracy as the most problematic factor for doing business in this country.
Last year, crime and theft was the number one factor which complicated doing business in the country.
The latest index was
released at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (GSB) in Mt Hope, yesterday.
It ranks a country’s productivity and prospe­rity according to factors such as the quality of its infrastructure and institutions, and its ability to foster innovation.
The GCI separates countries into three specific stages: factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven.
This year, 144 countries participated in the survey, with Switzerland landing top spot for the sixth consecutive year. While Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine yesterday described this country’s improvement as marginal, director at the GSB Balraj Kistow said Trinidad and Tobago was well ahead of other countries in the region in terms of performance.
Barbados ranked higher at 55, along with Jamaica at position 86.
The Dominican Republic was 101st, Guyana 117th and Haiti 137th, the index showed.
“We are competing among the very best; we are seen in the world as one of the more developed economies and so
the analysis must be grounded within that context of being an innovation-driven economy,” he said.
He said the improvement could signify a tur­ning point in the country’s ranking position but noted:
“We are still a long way in terms of institutional development (95 out of 144) and innovation and sophistication factors (88 out of 144), and efficient government bureaucracy is seen as more problematic than crime and theft.”
Minister Ramnarine lauded the steps by Government which he said contributed to the improvement in key areas of the index.
He said, however, there was a lot of work to
be done to further improve the country’s ranking.
“Corruption is a concern to us in the Caribbean and so is government bureaucracy. Government has piloted the Procurement Bill which comes back on to the Order Paper in the next session of Parliament. Once passed, it will certainly begin to improve that ranking, with regard to transparency,” he noted.

Top 10 countries

1. Switzerland
2. Singapore
3. United States
4. Finland
5. Germany
6. Japan
7. Hong Kong
8. Netherlands
9. United Kingdom
10. Sweden
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