The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) has lowered Taiwan’s global competitiveness ranking for this year by four notches to 11th, the lowest performance since 2009.
In its latest World Competitiveness Yearbook released yesterday, the Lausanne, Switzerland-based IMD said Taiwan reported across-the-board declines this year in all four subindices — economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
However, a government official said Taiwan’s ranking did not decline because the nation did not improve, but because other nations had made better progress.
“We have been liberalizing business regulations in Taiwan, but not as strictly as others,” Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said by telephone yesterday.
The nation’s rating on the economic performance subindex was lowered to 16th this year from 13th last year due to weak economic momentum and a higher inflation rate.
Taiwan’s government efficiency was rated eighth-most competitive among the 60 countries polled this year, down from fifth place last year, which the IMD attributed to tighter business legislation compared with other countries.
As for business efficiency, the nation’s ranking fell to 10th this year from fourth last year because of lower productivity.
In terms of infrastructure, Taiwan saw its ranking drop to 16th this year from 12th last year as a result of lower input from research and development and personnel.
Among Asia-Pacific nations, Taiwan remains the third-most competitive country behind Hong Kong and Singapore, the IMD said. Taiwan was trailed by China, South Korea and Japan, it added.
Around the world, the US ranked the most competitive in this year’s report, followed by Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden and Singapore. Rounding out the top 10 were Norway, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Gemany and Qatar.
Former CEPD minister Chen Po-chih (陳博志) yesterday said the government should honestly face Taiwan’s problems and stop hiding behind statistics and rankings.
“The real problems of this nation were obvious even before the IMD report was released, but the government overlooked them,” Chen said by telephone. “Instead of focusing on the declining ranking, the government should recognize the problems and act to fix them with concrete reforms.”