Vietnam, Brunei biggest winners in competitiveness index in ASEAN

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Vietnam and Brunei emerged as the countries that improved their competitiveness the most within Southeast Asia in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum on September 28.

While Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines just showed sight improvements, Singapore dropped one notch to a still respectable overall third on the list. The rankings on Cambodia and Laos declined. Myanmar is not included in the list.

The annual report measures a country’s competitiveness based on twelve pillars – institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

In the case of Vietnam, which climbed an astonishing 20 notches, the report said that the country has made improvements in all sectors, notably among the basic requirement factors, including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education.

Higher education and training also advanced, as firms perceive that the lack of an educated workforce constitute a significant hurdle to doing business.

Trade also propelled Vietnam upward, with the country seventh in terms of the ratio of imports to gross domestic product, the report said. The US withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership may have hurt some future trade opportunities for Vietnam, but the report stated that “the country’s growth is nonetheless projected to remain robust from strong exports”.

Brunei showed strength in the institutions category, as well as in infrastructure, education and healthcare, macroeconomic environment and technology readiness, but still has some weaknesses in business sophistication and innovation.

Both Brunei and Vietnam kicked out the Philippines from the top five most competitive economies in ASEAN.

According to the report, the Philippines ranks high in the fields of education and training, labour market efficiency and market size, but needs to address poor infrastructure, inefficient bureaucracy, corruption and tax regulations in order to perform better.

Singapore dropped to rank three, swapping ranks with the US, due to a slight deterioration in the macroeconomic environment category “as a result of a persisting deflationary spell”.

Malaysia mainly improved for its “efficiency in government spending,” while Thailand did better in key criteria such as institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, but has to tackle political instability and its inefficient bureaucracy.

Indonesia, in turn, improved across most sector. Its position in the ranking is driven mainly by its large market size and a relatively robust macroeconomic environment. Innovation and business sophistication are also well-developed criteria. In contrast, Indonesia is lagging quite far behind in terms of technological readiness and labour market efficiency pillar.

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Vietnam and Brunei emerged as the countries that improved their competitiveness the most within Southeast Asia in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum on September 28. While Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines just showed sight improvements, Singapore dropped one notch to a still respectable overall third on the list. The rankings on Cambodia and Laos declined. Myanmar is not included in the list. The annual report measures a country’s competitiveness based on twelve pillars – institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency,...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam and Brunei emerged as the countries that improved their competitiveness the most within Southeast Asia in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum on September 28.

While Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines just showed sight improvements, Singapore dropped one notch to a still respectable overall third on the list. The rankings on Cambodia and Laos declined. Myanmar is not included in the list.

The annual report measures a country’s competitiveness based on twelve pillars – institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

In the case of Vietnam, which climbed an astonishing 20 notches, the report said that the country has made improvements in all sectors, notably among the basic requirement factors, including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education.

Higher education and training also advanced, as firms perceive that the lack of an educated workforce constitute a significant hurdle to doing business.

Trade also propelled Vietnam upward, with the country seventh in terms of the ratio of imports to gross domestic product, the report said. The US withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership may have hurt some future trade opportunities for Vietnam, but the report stated that “the country’s growth is nonetheless projected to remain robust from strong exports”.

Brunei showed strength in the institutions category, as well as in infrastructure, education and healthcare, macroeconomic environment and technology readiness, but still has some weaknesses in business sophistication and innovation.

Both Brunei and Vietnam kicked out the Philippines from the top five most competitive economies in ASEAN.

According to the report, the Philippines ranks high in the fields of education and training, labour market efficiency and market size, but needs to address poor infrastructure, inefficient bureaucracy, corruption and tax regulations in order to perform better.

Singapore dropped to rank three, swapping ranks with the US, due to a slight deterioration in the macroeconomic environment category “as a result of a persisting deflationary spell”.

Malaysia mainly improved for its “efficiency in government spending,” while Thailand did better in key criteria such as institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, but has to tackle political instability and its inefficient bureaucracy.

Indonesia, in turn, improved across most sector. Its position in the ranking is driven mainly by its large market size and a relatively robust macroeconomic environment. Innovation and business sophistication are also well-developed criteria. In contrast, Indonesia is lagging quite far behind in terms of technological readiness and labour market efficiency pillar.

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