Vietnam improved by 5 notches in the global competitiveness ranking from 60th in 2016 to 55th out of 137 countries in 2017, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Sep 27.
With a relatively modest increase in its overall score, Vietnam (55th) moves up five places to narrowly surpass the Philippines (56th). Vietnam’s competitiveness is significantly driven by its market size (31st). Although the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) earlier in 2017 eliminated significant trade opportunities, the country’s growth is nonetheless projected to remain robust from strong exports.
Specifically, the report showed that the Vietnam’ significant improvements are necessary across all pillars, notably among the basic requirement factors (75th) and higher education (84th), as firms perceive that the lack of an educated workforce constitute a significant hurdle for doing business. Vietnam could also boost its competitiveness by closing gaps in innovation and sophistication factors with countries at a similar stage of development, such as the Philippines
In the region, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brunei Darussalam made the largest strides in terms of rankings, with Indonesia going up 5 notches, Vietnam with a 5-notch gain, and Brunei with the most significant improvement in the region, jumping 12 spots from its rank the previous year.
But the report said that the Vietnam, along with Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Mongolia, could all make large gains in competitiveness at a relatively lower cost by improving their performance on infrastructure, health, and education.
The Report, an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 137 countries, offers insight into how priorities may be shifting for nations in earlier stages of development. This year, it covers 137 economies based on data availability. Altogether, the combined output of the economies covered in the GCI accounts for 98% of world GDP.