WEF sees China gaining an edge in competitiveness over other nations

Updated: Oct 10, 2019 China Daily Print
A bird view of Beijing's central business district. [Photo/VCG]

China ranked 28th among global economies in terms of competitiveness, and was the best performer among the five BRICS members, according to the World Economic Forum's latest annual report.

The country's good position in the ranking can be mainly attributed to its long-term efforts in promoting innovation and opening-up, experts said.

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 released on Wednesday, China's position in the ranking was unchanged from last year, but its overall score climbed 1.3 points.

The report showed China ranked the first among BRICS - an economic bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. China ranks 15 places ahead of Russia, 32 places ahead of South Africa and some 40 places ahead of both India and Brazil, the report said.

Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics, said: "China gained a good position in terms of competitiveness, because it has been spearheading the efforts to promote technological innovation and deepen opening-up."

Liu said homegrown companies have been placing emphasis on research and development, and making some significant progress in developing leading technologies. Meanwhile, foreign investors have benefited from China's further opening-up measures and optimized business environment, he said.

To remain competitive amid a projected subdued global economy, China needs to double down on boosting innovation and further opening the market in the future, he added.

WEF's annual report assesses the productivity and long-term growth of 141 economies. It measures an economy's performance through 103 indicators in 12 pillars.

This year's report showed China has obvious strengths in such areas as the sheer size of its market, macroeconomic stability, and adoption of information, communication and technology. In ICT adoption, China outperformed 25 of the 36 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the report said.

With a score of 84.8, Singapore replaced the United States as the world's most competitive economy. The US competitiveness was lowered to second place partly because of the country's trade uncertainty, as its trade openness is more than four points lower than in 2018, according to the report.

Yang Weiyong, an associate professor of economics with the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said protecting free trade rules is significant to ensure global economic vitality.

Yang urged certain countries that have been jeopardizing the world trade order to cease irresponsible behavior. "Only through cooperation can the world economy continue to prosper," he said.

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