Barbados In Top 50 But C’bbean Globally Uncompetitive
September 10, 2010 2 Comments
Only one Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country made the top 50 countries in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011”.
Barbados is rated at 43 of 139 countries that were surveyed. Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Guyana were rated 84, 95, and 110 respectively.
No other CARICOM country was rated because of a lack of survey data.
This is not good news for the CARICOM area already beset by severe economic problems including high debt to GDP ratios, increasing unemployment, and contracting economies.
Barbados’ higher ranking over the three other CARICOM countries surveyed is due, according to the Report, to its better health and education facilities and technological readiness, but it got poor marks for inefficient government bureaucracy, access to financing, a poor work ethic among the labour force and foreign currency regulations.
Crime is rated highest among the problems that beset Trinidad and Tobago followed by an inefficient government bureaucracy and, surprisingly, access to financing. None of its rankings – not for basic requirements, efficiency enhancers or business sophistication and innovation – matched Barbados.
However, Barbados’ ranking in the specific areas of business sophistication and innovation at 52, suggests that there is need for the business community to improve its performance if Barbados is to continue to be a leader for the region in maintaining global competiveness.
The Report highlights University-Industry collaboration in Research and Development as a strong point for Barbados. With a ranking of 40, this is an area that Barbados could further develop, and that other CARICOM countries should emulate across a broad area of economic activity.
Like Trinidad and Tobago, crime was identified as the biggest problem facing Jamaica’s competitiveness. An inefficient government bureaucracy, access to financing and an inadequately educated work force were also identified among its major setbacks.
High tax rates headed the list of Guyana’s problems, followed by crime, and inadequately educated work force and access to funding. The enrolment rate for secondary education and hiring and firing practices were Guyana’s two most notable competitive advantages with rankings of 16 and 20 respectively.
So, who are the top ten most competitive countries in the world for business? In order of priority, they are: Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, United States, Germany, Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada.