Taiwan this year fell three places to 17th in a global competitiveness ranking by Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
It was the lowest ranking since 2009, after Taiwan lost points in the areas of economic performance, foreign investment and the labor market, the business school said in its annual report.
The result placed Taiwan behind major trade rivals Hong Kong, Singapore and China, although it managed to stay ahead of South Korea and Japan.
The school graded 63 economies in terms of economic performance, government and business efficiency and infrastructure.
Taiwan’s economic showing dropped two places, dragged by a serious retreat in foreign investment, the report said, as corporate managers voiced concern that the global industrial realignment might dim its economic outlook.
Persistent overconcentration on a few export destinations and products weighed on the nation’s international trade ranking, even though account surpluses continued to support GDP growth, the school said.
Electronic components, especially semiconductors, underpinned the nation’s outbound shipments to major trading partners, with China taking a 40 percent share, government data showed.
Nations at the top of the ranking share an above-par performance across all competitiveness factors, despite a varied competitiveness mix, IMD World Competitiveness Center director Arturo Bris said.
Asian nations that have fallen in the ranking this year show a need to improve their tangible and scientific infrastructure, Bris added.
However, Taiwan is the exception, the school said on its Web site.
Taiwan’s business efficiency fell five positions to 20th, while the labor market score fell sharply, the report showed.
Labor rules that require higher overtime pay and shorter working hours have estranged corporate managers, the National Development Council said.
“The retreat is an alarm signaling an economic downturn. The government will press ahead with the pursuit of an inclusive economic growth model that will benefit all participants,” council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) told a news conference.
It is not surprising that China outpaces Taiwan in competitiveness, because it has spent more money on enhancing infrastructure, Chen said.
The government has been removing regulatory barriers and introducing measures to attract foreign investment and talent, she said. “It might take more time for foreign research institutes to observe positive changes.”
Foreign investments and tourist numbers have showed signs of growth this year, while the government is considering relaxing immigration rules, she said, after IMD warned that the brain drain problem might hurt Taiwan if left unaddressed.
The nation’s competitiveness has stagnated, while other nations have gained headway, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台灣經濟研究院) economist Gordon Sun (孫明德) said.
Firms in China and elsewhere are recruiting skilled labor from Taiwan with better compensation offers, Sun said, adding that the issue merits more attention from policymakers and firms.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle