Russia climbs higher in global competitiveness ranking

In just one year, Russia has improved its position on the global competitiveness index (GCI); by five notches to 38th place in a list of 137 countries.

The improvement was mostly driven by the macroeconomic environment, in which Russia gained 38 positions to 53rd place globally, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) report which noted the country’s strong rebound from the 2015–16 recession.

WEF experts gave a good assessment of Russian health care and primary/secondary education, along with the market size and professional staff training.

“Weak links continue to include the financial market (107th), in particular, the banking sector, along with aspects of institutional quality such as property rights (106th), judicial independence (90th), and corruption, which remains one of the most problematic factors for doing business,” said WEF.

The report also said the Russian economy remains highly dependent on mineral exports.

“Russia has passed new laws to increase the minimum wage and protect temporary employment, which have lowered labor market flexibility; however, this may have an overall beneficial effect by restoring domestic purchasing power, which had been hit by inflation and the weak ruble,” said the report.

The global competitiveness index is calculated using 113 economic indicators covering 12 categories. The measure takes into account such factors as institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health, education and training, goods market efficiency and labor market, financial market development, and innovations.

Switzerland was ranked as the most competitive economy in the world for the ninth straight year. It is followed by the United States, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Germany. The top ten list included Hong Kong, Sweden, Britain, Japan, and Finland.

“Countries preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and simultaneously strengthening their political, economic and social systems will be the winners in the competitive race of the future,” said WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

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