Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Darussalam has retained its position as the world's 28th most competitive economy, maintaining its rank from last year in the 33rd edition of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR 2012-2013) released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday.
Its Asean neighbours - Malaysia Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia - were ranked 25th, 38th, 50th, 65th and 85th respectively, while Singapore maintained the second spot in the annual survey.
Despite showing no improvement in the overall country ranking, the overall country competitive index has improved, as noted by the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, who was speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) as the partner institute of the WEF Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance (CGCP) in Brunei Darussalam.
Individual index ranking improvements were visible in six of the 12 pillars in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The survey indicated improvements in areas of Institutions, +3; Higher education and training, +4; Goods market efficiency, +9; Financial market development, +1; Business Sophistication, +20; and Innovation, +9.
In justifying the current standing of the country in this year's survey, the minister commented that competitive challenges for Brunei Darussalam remains considerable and faster improving economies will always be ahead in better positioning their country in the GCR ranking.
"To strengthen Brunei's competitiveness and fast-track transformation will require collaborative approaches and commitment not only among government agencies, but also with the private sector. His Majesty's government is committed to push the necessary structural and policy reforms that will not only enhance the productivity of the country, but also address the underlying roots that can perpetually improve further the country's innovativeness and agility to face new developments and address emerging issues and changing situations," he said.
Behind Singapore, several Asian economies are performing strongly, with Hong Kong SAR (9th), Japan (10th), Taiwan, China (13th) and the Republic of Korea (19th) all in the Top 20.
Pehin Yahya opined that among Asean member countries covered in the report, the GCI rankings of Cambodia showed the greatest improvement, followed by the Philippines and Thailand.
Singapore, which ranked second in the world, continues to institute reforms to further improve the pillars of their competitiveness.
He echoed the comment of Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF Forum, who said that, "Persisting divides in competitiveness across regions and within regions, particularly in Europe, are at the origin of the turbulence we are experiencing today, and this is jeopardising our future prosperity. We urge governments to act decisively by adopting long-term measures to enhance competitiveness and return the world to a sustainable growth path."--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin