Global Competitiveness Report ranks Australia down

Analysis

Global Competitiveness Report ranks Australia down

Australia has ranked 20th in the Global Competitiveness Report (WEF). The ranking is unchanged from last year.

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Australia has ranked 20th in the Global Competitiveness Report. The ranking is unchanged from last year.

The latest Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013 from the World Economic Forum. has just been released.

This year’s report findings show that Switzerland tops the overall rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report for the fourth consecutive year. Singapore remains in second position, with Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th). These and other Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom respectively ranked 5th, 6th and 8th. The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) complete the top 10.

The Report emphasises persisting competitiveness divides across and within regions, as short-termism and political deadlock continue to hold back the economic performance of many countries and regions. Looking forward, productivity improvements and private sector investment is key to improving global economies at a time of heightened uncertainty about the global economic outlook.

Coalition attacks government
 
Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, said that the report shows that Australia’s competitiveness ranking in areas influenced by government policy has slumped since Labor came to power: ‘ Australia has fallen because of wasteful practices, a lack of transparency, heavy re-regulation and increased taxes.’

Hockey noted:
  • In 2007–08 Australia ranked 10th in terms of wastefulness of government spending, in 2012–13 we had slumped to 48th. That is, Australia is ranked as far more wasteful under Rudd/Gillard than when the Howard Government left office.
  • In 2007–08 Australia ranked 68th in terms of burden of government regulation, in 2012–13 we ranked 96th.
  • In 2007–08 Australia ranked 12th in terms of transparency of government policymaking, in 2012–13 we ranked 29th.
  • In 2007–08 Australia ranked 40th in pay and productivity, in 2012–13 we ranked 80th.
  • In 2007–08 Australia ranked 75th in extent and effect of taxation, in 2012–13 we ranked 103rd.
Business Council
 
Jennifer Westacott, the head of the Business Council of Australia, said less than a fortnight ago:
‘Our costs are too high, productivity is too low, we haven’t invested enough in infrastructure and we’re drowning in costly, time consuming regulation. As a result, our competitiveness is declining in a vastly more competitive world. The reality is the great opportunity before us to lock in living standards that are the envy of the world may just pass us by. Business is the canary in the coalmine and nobody will thank us in 10 years time for not calling it as we see it.’
 
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