Botswana jumps up competitiveness rankings
Botswana has registered significant improvement in most aspects of competitiveness, surpassing regional peers such as Namibia and Kenya.
However, the country still lags behind when compared to South Africa and Mauritius.
In the recently released 2017 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Botswana is ranked 64th out of 138 countries. This marks an improvement of eight positions, relative to the previous report.
Botswana’s score also rose to 4.3 from 4.19 showing improvement in most categories.
The country showed improvement in basic requirements, which moved from 61st previously to 55th this year. Most pillars such as infrastructure improved from 96th last year to 90th this year, health and primary education improved from 119th last year to 113th this year.
While the macro-economic environment is the country’s main competitiveness strength, it has dropped from ninth position previously to 10th this year.
Botswana is regarded as a sound economy mainly due to its balanced fiscal budget, higher gross national savings and lower levels of inflation.
Efficiency enhancers also moved from the 91st position last year to the 84th this year. Higher education and training ranked 88th, scoring 4.1 this year compared to the 100th position previously. Goods market efficiency scored 4.3, ranking 73rd this year compared to a previous score of 4.14 at 95th position.
While the labour market efficiency remained at position 36, it still remains one of Botswana’s successes as its score nudged slightly from a previous score of 4.49 to 4.5 this year.
The country also improved in the technology readiness pillar, which is 86th and scoring 3.6 this year compared to 91st position scoring 3.34 in the last index.
Innovation and sophistication factors showed improvement from 111th position last year to 105th this year.
Business sophistication moved from position 111th last year to 100th this year while innovation pillar also improved from the 102nd last year to 84th this year.
However, the country’s market size dropped from a score of 2.97 in the previous report to 2.9 this year. Financial market development also moved up in ranking from 63rd position last year to 66th in the current report.
Meanwhile, poor work ethic in the national labour force is still considered as the most problematic factor for doing business in the country.
Inefficient government bureaucracy has moved to second as the most problematic factor followed by restrictive labour regulations. Foreign currency regulations and tax regulations still remain the least problematic factors for doing business in the country.