Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Ma touts improved competitiveness

RANKINGS While the president talked of Taiwan's better performance in the World Economic Forum poll, he was silent on its reference to the nation as 'Taiwan, China'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday lauded Taiwan's competitiveness, citing its improved ranking in the World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010."

Ma made the remarks during a meeting at the Presidential Office with John Wells, president of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), which publishes another global competitiveness survey, the World Competitiveness Yearbook.

Taiwan's ranking in IMD's "World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009" dropped to 23rd from 13th place last year. Ma attributed the fall to the decline in several indexes, such as government efficiency, economic performance, infrastructure and industrial efficiency.

Ma said the IMD yearbook was made public in the first quarter, when Taiwan's economic performance was at its lowest point because of the global financial tsunami and economic downturn.

Six months later, Ma said the World Economic Forum (WEF) placed Taiwan's global competitiveness at 12th, better than last year's ranking of 17th.

Ma, however, did not say anything about the WEF's reference to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China” in all indexes. Hong Kong was referred to as “Hong Kong, SAR [Special Administrative Region].”

IMD lists Taiwan simply as “Taiwan.”

The IMD "World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009" said some countries suffered important reversals this year. They were Colombia (51st), Greece (52nd) and Taiwan (23rd), which fell 10 places each. In a free-falling economy, the IMD said competitiveness is about how countries can resist adversity and show resilience to weather the storm.

The IMD asked the public to take into account that these rankings were based on a majority of statistics from last year, especially the growth period of early 2008, and that countries entered the economic crisis at different times.

Ma yesterday said that Taiwan's economy has showed “remarkable improvement” over the first and second quarters of this year, adding that the third quarter was better than the second.

“We hope it will get better in the future,” he said.

WEF's "Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010" rankings placed Taiwan's competitiveness at 12th. China edged up one place from 30th to 29th.

Among the sub-indexes, Taiwan placed 18th in basic requirements, 17th in efficiency enhancers and 8th in innovation factors.

Basic requirements consist of institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education.

Efficiency enhancers comprise higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness and market size.

Innovation factors contain business sophistication and innovation.

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