Shaikh Khalid Tawab, Sr. Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry expressed his serious concern over the lower ranking of Pakistan in Global Competiveness Index 2016-17; report of World Economic Forum (WEF). He stated that as compared to last year, the ranking of Pakistan has improved by four notches and stood at 122nd in 2016-17 out of 138 countries, but this ranking is lowest in South Asian region which is alarming. While quoting the South Asian Countries ranking he added that India ranked at 39th, Bangladesh 106th, Bhutan 97th, Nepal 98th and Sri Lanka 71th.
He further added that Pakistan is classified as a factor driven economy, which basically depends on improving its institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education indicators. The improvement in competitiveness ranking is due to the macroeconomic environment and improvement in economic indicators like declining in inflation, declining in budget deficit as percentage of GDP and rising of gross saving rate as percentage of GDP he stated. He further indicated that the report identifies corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in Pakistan, followed by crime and theft, tax rates and government instability. He added that it is appreciable that the public trust on politician is increasing due to the right direction of policies but government need to take strong and significant steps for improving the efficiency of institutions. The report indicated that access to finance is a problematic in Pakistan but our financial institutions claimed easy access of finance.
Mr. Tawab further stated that there is a need for improvement in infrastructure of Pakistan because better infrastructures always encourage the investors and reduce the cost of doing business. He suggested to improve the doing business indices as most of the investors in the world making decisions on the basis of the competitiveness index. He also urged the government for rising in education and health expenditures because both indicators directly affect the human capital which has positive impact on all sectors of economy.
He further explained that the world competitiveness ranking is based on 12 major indicators and Pakistan is in advantageous position in market size (29th ranking) but at the same time worst position in goods market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological advancement, labour market efficiency, health and primary education.