While Singapore has taken over from the United States to reach the top position, India also moved up one place to rank 43rd in the list of most competitive economies in the world, banking on its steady economic growth, huge untapped market size and massive labour force.
Singapore was on the third position in the list last year, which the US has slipped down to in the 2019 edition of IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, making way for Hong Kong SAR to take second place.
The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings was established in 1989. For the latest report, it accounted for 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies. The ranking system evaluated the ability of these economies to nurture an environment where their business can achieve sustained growth as well as generate jobs.
The study highlights the growth of the Asia-Pacific region, with 11 out of 14 economies improving their ranks or holding on to the spot.
Last year, India was ranked 44th, and the one rank improvement mirrors the progress from 2017, when India was ranked 45th.
The IMD study suggested that India’s primary challenges remain and it has to focus on maintaining its growth as well as generating employment. The other challenges in the India context revolve around digital literacy, and internet bandwidth and penetration in rural areas. The study also found that India needs to improve fiscal discipline, while implementation of GST as well as mobilising resources for the development of infrastructure are also some of the challenges in the Indian economy.
The country did improve its standing in terms of tax policies and several other economic parameters. However, it fell short in health and environment, public finance, societal framework and education infrastructure.
“In a year of high uncertainty in global markets due to rapid changes in the international political landscape as well as trade relations, the quality of institutions seem to be the unifying element.