This is not a paywall.

Register for free to continue reading.

We made a promise to you that we’ll never erect a paywall and we intend to keep that promise. We also want to continually improve your reading experience and you can help us do that by registering with us. It’s quick, easy and will cost you nothing.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish up registering with us:

Please enter your password or get a login link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for registering.

Ramaphosa's energy plan Webinar banner

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

SA's global competitiveness ranking takes a dive

Business Maverick

Business Maverick, Politics

SA’s global competitiveness ranking takes a dive

The World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report for 2010-11 has a number of surprises, with South Africa having nose-dived nine places from 45th to a dismal 54th – one of only two sub-Saharan African countries (with Mauritius) to even feature in the top half of the world’s most competitive nations, boding ill for the continent.

Among the other surprises, the US has dropped in rankings from second place to fourth, while  Switzerland topped the rankings followed by Sweden and Singapore respectively. Germany slotted into fifth spot.

The rankings come ahead of the annual WEF meeting, The Meeting of the New Champions 2010, in Tianjin, China, in a week’s time. The global competitiveness report’s rankings are based on the Global Competitiveness Index, which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2004, and developed by Sala-i-Martin.

Twelve factors are taken into account to consider the competitiveness of the country and include among others infrastructure, health and primary education, technological readiness, business sophistication, innovation, market size, financial market development, efficiency of the goods and labour market, institutions. Along with publicly available data, the rankings also take into account surveys from 13,000 leaders of industry and businessmen from 130 countries.

Debt, deficits and a lack of faith in the public institutions are all factors that could have led to the loss in the US’s ranking. Further, the long-standing macroeconomic imbalances, concerns over the financial markets and weakening private institutions have worsened the condition. On the flipside, a strong sense of innovation as well as a stable economy have ensured that Switzerland lands the top spot for the second time in a row. China has been showing consistent improvement, landing at 27 this year, from 30 in 2008 and 29 in 2009. The other three BRIC economies, India (51st), Russia (63rd) and Brazil (58th) have remained stable. Chile in 30th place is the highest-ranked country from South America.

The Asian hubs are also going ahead strongly, with Japan at number six and Hong Kong at 11. But other factors influence the rankings; financial market hiccups and administrative shortcomings have meant South Korea fell to 22nd place (behind even Saudi Arabia at 21). As expected, the Scandinavian countries continued to do well, with Denmark, Finland and Sweden bringing up the rear in the top 10. The UK has regained some ground by moving up one position to 12th place this year.

The rest of the upper half of the rankings is mainly occupied by countries from Northern Africa and the Middle East, notably Israel at 24, Qatar at 17 and the UAE at the 25th spot. The Gulf States continue to show an increase in rankings. Sub Saharan Africa did not fare at all, and only South Africa (54) and Mauritius (55) are in the first half of the rankings.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, says it is imperative for countries to fix the basics of economic development and growth to counter various crises, and the rankings reflect just that.

With a global reputation for uncompetitively high labour costs and relatively low productivity, the latest rankings – and South Africa’s very disappointing performance – come at a delicate phase in the country’s annual wage negotiation cycle. DM

Photo: Reuters.


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted