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Taiwan boosts global competitiveness: IMD
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 06 - 2008

Taiwan had improved its overall global competitiveness ranking by moving up five places to 13th, data released recently by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) showed.
In the institute's World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008, it noted the improvements over the past year in Taiwan's rankings in three categories - from 20th to 16th in terms of government efficiency; from 17th to 10th in the business efficiency category; and from 21st to 17th in terms of infrastructure.
The IMD report said Taiwan had done well in terms of maintaining robust export activities, favorable unemployment rates, sound fiscal policies and a stable currency, as well as controlling inflation rates. However, it suggested there was room for improvement in the nation's stock market and tourism industry, especially as Taiwan's most pressing challenges were seen as being the need to attract talent and to further enhance the ability of research and development.
The island's economic performance, however, slipped from 16th to 21st place, the report said.
Of the sub-categories included in the survey, Taiwan's fiscal policy and infrastructure in science and technology were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The international investment category saw Taiwan's worst placing this year of 44th place, whereas a position of 28th concerning international trade was a slip of 12 places.
According to the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development, the government has designed measures to strengthen governing mechanisms and to bolster the nation's international competitiveness. The initiatives include simplifying the procedures for setting up new businesses, establishing a set of regulations for the protection of intellectual property rights, improving the process for application of licenses, and fortifying the mechanism for the prevention or control of epidemics.
Other figures in the IMD report this year were much the same as last year, with the US, Singapore, and Hong Kong still topping the table in first, second and third place, respectively. Rounding up the top 10 most competitive nations were Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Taiwan's ranking was the third highest among Asian economies, ahead of China that fell from 15th to 17th place, the report showed.
Since its inception 20 years ago, the IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook has offered well-respected data for global business leaders to determine investment plans and locations, while also providing valuable information for government leaders to formulate policies.
This year's rankings can be viewed as an important reference for the world's economic development, as there are distinct parallels between now and two decades ago, said the report, citing the performance of the American economy mirroring that of Japan's during the 1980s.
Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD's World Competitiveness Center, said new players were entering the world economy, with strong local brands, sovereign funds and other entities changing the rules of the game.
“The power base of the world economy, which used to be centered on the United States, Japan and Europe, is now more diluted. Money, work, brainpower and technology can be accessed almost everywhere,” he said.
The survey ranks 55 economies worldwide according to a wide range of criteria that measure how the nations create and maintain conditions favorable to businesses. __


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