Egypt drops 13 places in Global Competitiveness Report

Ahram Online, Friday 9 Sep 2011

Latest global competitiveness report puts Egypt in 94th place, brought low by chronic labour problems and poor prospects for job creation

World Economic Forum
Where to now? Egypt faces stark challenges that can only be solved by improving competitiveness, claims forum (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt has plunged further down a ranking of the world's most competitive economies, landing at 94th place due to its chronic labour problems and limited prospects for job creation, the World Economic Forum said this week.

Egypt slipped 13 places from its ranking in last year's Global Competitiveness Report, with the forum warning of the possibilty of further dips.
The forum said that Egypt's economic problems were among the root causes of January's uprising and the country's new political leadership faces "several competitive challenges". 
Chief among them was reform of the labour market, currently suffering from "inefficient use of available talent, rigid regulations and little cooperation between workers and employers". 
Building a framework for more vibrant domestic competition and greater openness to trade and foreign investment would be key to job creation, the forum added.
It also called for an overhaul of the educational system, which "needs to gear educational outcomes more strongly toward the needs of the business community." 
But the forum stressed that the rewards for reform could be great, citing the size of the Egyptian market and its proximity to export-hungry Europe.
"Resisting pressures against the reform process in these challenging times and focusing on a competitiveness-enhancing agenda ... will raise the economy’s productivity levels," it said.
Switzerland held onto the top spot for the third year in a row in the annual ranking by the Geneva-based forum, best known for its exclusive meeting of luminaries in Davos, Switzerland, each January.
Singapore moved up to second place, bumping Sweden down to third. Finland moved up to fourth place, from seventh last year. The United States was in fourth place last year, after falling from No. 1 in 2008.
The rankings, which the forum has issued for more than three decades, are based on economic data and a survey of 15,000 business executives.
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