Taiwan’s global competitiveness fell two notches to 14th place this year, its worst showing since 2008, because of lower rankings in terms of goods market efficiency, business sophistication and innovation, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report said yesterday.
The report said Taiwan’s “performance has been very stable over the past six years,” noting that its strengths include a capacity to innovate, highly efficient goods markets, world-class infrastructure and solid higher education and training.
“In order to enhance its competitiveness, Taiwan will need to further strengthen its institutional framework, whose quality is undermined by some inefficiency within the government and various forms of corruption and will also need to address some inefficiencies and rigidities in its labor market,” the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 said.
As with other Asian countries, Taiwan can boost its competitiveness by encouraging and facilitating the participation of women in the workforce, the report said.
Taiwan’s ranking in goods market efficiency dropped four places, from seventh last year to 11th this year, because buyers in the local goods market are considered to make their decisions based more on prices instead of “a sophisticated analysis of performance attributes,” the report by the Geneva-based organization said.
Agricultural policy was also believed to be more of a burden to the efficiency of local goods market than a balance of interests among taxpayers, consumers and producers, the report said.
Taiwan dropped two places to 10th this year in innovation because domestic companies are believed to have spent less on research and development, and the government’s spending is considered not to be conducive to innovation in the private sector, the report said.
It also fell two spots — to 17th — in business sophistication because domestic companies are believed to have less control over international distribution and marketing, the report said.
Taiwan was ranked as the fourth-most competitive in Asia this year, behind Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, the report said.
Switzerland placed first in the most competitive category, followed by Singapore, the US, Finland and Germany.
“The decline was partly because of recurring civil movements in Taiwan in recent years, which caused company managers who responded to the forum’s survey to have doubts about the nation’s prospects, economic condition and policy direction,” the National Development Council said in a news release yesterday.
“About 70 percent of the report is based on surveys. Hence, it is unavoidable that the civil movements in recent years will affect the results to a certain extent,” council analyst Hsieh Chung-tsung (謝中琮) said in the news release.
The report was based on 30 returned questionnaires, and the survey was conducted from January through the middle of June, Hsieh said. To prevent the report from being distorted by short-term events, the forum ranks every nation based on weighted scores computed from surveys conducted this year and last year, Hsieh said.
Survey respondents are chosen at random and are management officials in Taiwan working for foreign and domestic firms, Hsieh said.
The report ranks 144 economies around the world based on 114 factors in 12 categories.
Additional reporting by CNA
BREAKING RECORDS: Kuo Hsing-chun’s snatch, clean and jerk, and combined lifts were all Olympic records, although well off her combined world record Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) yesterday completed her elusive quest for Olympic gold, clinching Taiwan’s first win at the Tokyo Games as she set Olympic records in the women’s under-59kg weight class. Kuo, who has not lost a major competition in her weight class since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she was hampered by injury and finished third, finally chased down the gold medal that had long remained just out of her grasp. The 27-year-old finished with a combined lift of 236kg — 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk — 21kg more
NEXT ROUND: About 1.44 million people who have registered online to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are to get text messages today to book a vaccine appointment Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it. The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation. Chen said an
NO ‘ONE CHINA’ LIE: The appropriations act passed the US House of Representatives with a vote of 217-212, but still needs Senate approval and the president’s signature The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a foreign assistance spending bill with an amendment forbidding that funds be used to create, procure or display maps depicting Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. The amendment was introduced by five Republican representatives — Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher — and passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments. “This is a common sense measure,” Tiffany said, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday. “As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their
THE HOME TEAM: DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu said she canceled her booking for an AstraZeneca shot as soon as she heard that the Medigen vaccine was an option President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗). Tsai wrote on Facebook that she had registered for her first vaccine dose using the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, which allows people to indicate their preferred vaccine brand and to make an appointment when the shot becomes available. Tsai said that she opted for the Medigen vaccine — one of three now available on the system, along with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines — even though Medigen has yet to deliver any doses or provide a