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Greece’s Competitiveness Continues To Plunge

Greece this year fell another seven places in the rankings of 142 countries from 83rd place to 90th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, released by the World Economic Forum last month.

Greece remains the lowest-ranked country of the European Union and is below Georgia and Lebanon and many African and Balkan countries.

Botswana is ahead of Greece by ten places, while many neighboring countries ranked higher such as Albania (78th), FYROM (79th) and Turkey (59th).

According to the report, in the context of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, Greece continues to fall precipitously in the macroeconomic environment pillar, dropping to 140th position this year (from 123rd last year).

Similarly, Greece’s financial markets are assessed more poorly than in the past, at 110th this year, showing particularly low confidence on the part of investors.

The evaluation of public institutions (government efficiency, corruption, undue influence) continues to suffer and is ranked a low 89th overall.

The report found that Greece was also worsening in other sectors such as bureaucracy,  infrastructure and innovation, with the exception of health and primary education.

“Another major area of concern is the country’s inefficient labor market (126th), which continues to constrain Greece’s ability to emerge from the crisis, demonstrating the importance of recent efforts to increase the retirement age and increase labor market flexibility,” the report said.

In regards to this year’s Global Competitiveness Report Top 10, Switzerland topped the overall rankings followed by Singapore. Northern and Western European countries dominated the top 10 with Sweden (3rd), Finland (4th), Germany (6th), the Netherlands (7th), Denmark (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th). USA came in 5th place and Japan remained the second-ranked Asian economy at 9th place.

The global report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) that comprises 12 categories/pillars of competitiveness -(institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation)- which together provide a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness landscape.

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