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Poland slips in the global competitiveness league


2011-09-08



Poland dropped two places to 41st in the annual ranking of global competitiveness published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). This came after significant advances in 2009-2010. The country’s point score, 4.46, was down from 4.51 a year earlier (Switzerland, the winner, received 5.74 points).

As in the previous edition, only two countries from the Central and Eastern Europe region were ranked higher than Poland: Estonia, which retained the 33rd place with 4.62 points, and the Czech Republic, which fell two places to 38th, with 4.52. Hungary moved up to 48th from 52nd (4.36) while Slovakia dropped nine places to 69th with a score of 4.19.

Poland’s rank was highest (30th out of 142 countries, the same as in 2010; 4.61 points, down from 4.62) on the sub-index of "efficiency enhancers", which includes parameters such as higher education and training, the efficiency of goods and labour markets, financial market development, technological readiness and market size. But unlike in 2010, its score was worst on "business sophistication and innovation", where its point-score dropped to 3.64 from 3.76, pushing it down six places to 57th. On "basic requirements", which include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability and health and primary education, the country stayed in 56th place (4.70 points, up from 4.69).

In its commentary, the WEF noted that Poland showed "a fairly even performance across all 12 pillars competitiveness", and that its particular strengths included large market size, education standards, or well-developed financial sector, or overall trustworthiness. On the other hand, its transport infrastructure remains particularly poor despite some progress. Likewise, the burden of government regulation is still perceived by the business sector as major concern, in spite of improvements of parts of the institutional framework. According to the WEF, the country needs to "focus more strongly on developing capacities in innovation and business sophistication", through stronger clusters, more R&D orientation of companies, and intensified collaboration between universities and the private sector.

Switzerland retained the mantle of the world’s most competitive economy in 2011. Singapore swapped places with Sweden to come second, while Finland moved up to fourth, sending the United States to fifth and Germany to sixth.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 ranks 142 countries according to more than 100 indicators grouped in twelve "pillars of competitiveness".



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