The World Economic Forum, WEF, yesterday released the 2015 Global Competitiveness Index, GCI rankings, in which Nigeria ranked 127 of the 144 countries assessed.
In a sharp and strongly-worded reaction to the ranking, the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, NCCN, said it recognises the fundamental importance of continuing in its mission to improve Nigeria’s international competitiveness and address constructive portions highlighted in the ranking Index.
It contended that it is increasingly clear that a perception gap exists between the way some ranking agencies view Nigeria and the reality on the ground of steadily improving trends. The NCCN also said it has begun to take steps to redress this misalignment between perception and reality both internally and externally.
It said Nigeria’s foreign direct investment, FDI, remains the largest in Africa, stating that a recent Wall Street Journal list of multinational CEOs ranked Nigeria first among emerging market investment destinations.
The country also outperformed peers like South Africa and Ghana in macroeconomic stability reflected in stable exchange rates, single digit inflation, fiscal restraint, low debt levels and lower poverty levels.
The Forum report titled: Global Competitiveness 2014-2015, said the health of the global economy is at risk, despite years of bold monetary policy, as countries struggle to implement structural reforms necessary to help economies grow.
In its annual assessment of the factors driving countries’ productivity and prosperity, the report identifies uneven implementation of structural reforms across different regions and levels of development as the biggest challenge to sustaining global growth.
It also highlights talent and innovation as two areas where leaders in the public and private sectors need to collaborate more effectively in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development.
According to the report’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the United States improves its competitiveness position for the second consecutive year, climbing two places to third on the back of gains to its institutional framework and innovation scores.
Elsewhere in the top five, Switzerland tops the ranking for the sixth consecutive year, Singapore remains second and Finland (4th) and Germany (5th) both drop one place. They are followed by Japan (6th), which climbs three places and Hong Kong SAR (7th), which remains stable. Europe’s open, service-based economies follow, with the Netherlands (8th) also stable and the United Kingdom (9th) going up one place. Sweden (10th) rounds up the top-10 of the most competitive economies in the world.
The leading economies in the index all possess a track record in developing, accessing and utilising available talent, as well as in making investments that boost innovation.
These smart and targeted investments have been possible thanks to a coordinated approach based on strong collaboration between the public and private sectors.
The report said that Sub-Saharan Africa continues to register impressive growth rates close to 5 per cent. Maintaining the momentum will require the region.