08 Sep 2014 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 08 SEP (NAMPA) Namibia has moved up two places to 88th position in the global competitiveness rankings.
This is according to the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s 2014/15 Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses the competiveness landscape of 144 countries worldwide and provides insight into the drivers of productivity and prosperity.
The report indicated that Mauritius continues its steady upward trend this year, moving up six positions to 39th place, while South Africa continues its downward trend, and falls to 56th place this year from 53rd place last year.
Botswana has remained in 74th place.
In its 35th edition of Global Competitiveness released on Monday, the WEF indicated that Namibia continues to benefit from a relatively well-functioning institutional environment (ranking 50th), with well-protected property rights, an independent judiciary and a fairly efficient government.
The countrys transport infrastructure is also good by regional standards (52nd), and financial markets continue to be reasonably developed (46th).
In order to improve its competitiveness, as in much of the region, Namibia is advised to improve its health and education systems.
The country ranks a low 118th on the health sub-pillar, with high infant mortality and low life expectancy.
This is the result, in large part, of its high rates of communicable diseases, although the data points to an improvement in this aspect this year.
The report, however, suggests that for Namibia to move up the value-chain and diversify its economy, efforts to build its human resources base will be critical in terms of school enrolment rates, which remain low, compared to other sub-Saharan upper-middle-income countries, and the quality of its education system, which remains poor (119th).
In addition, Namibia could do more to harness new technologies to improve its productivity levels (89th).
For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland leads the top 10, and Singapore ranks as the second-most competitive economy in the world.
The report indicated that the rankings at the top have remained rather stable, although the significant progress made by the United States of America, which climbs to third place this year and Japan, which rises three places to sixth position, is worth noting.