ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will be aiming to rank itself in the top 50 most competitive countries by 2025, as measured by the Global Competitive Index (GCI).
According to Vision 2025 document of the Ministry of Planning, at present Pakistan compares poorly on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) versus the average for upper middle income economies.
On a scale of 1 (worst) to 7 (best) Pakistan lags behind significantly in 8 out of the 12 indicators.
The GCI ranks Pakistan 133rd out of 148 countries in competitiveness, far behind other countries.
According to the document, furthermore, the country’s performance has deteriorated in some of the most critical and basic areas of competitiveness.
Pakistan’s public institutions (126th) are crippled by inefficiencies, corruption, patronage, and lack of property rights protection.
The security situation is taking a huge toll not only on the population, but also on businesses.
The macroeconomic situation is also worrisome (145th).
In 2012, the public deficit widened to near 10 percent of GDP, inflation remained in double-digit territory, and the savings rate dwindled to just 10 percent of GDP.
Pakistan’s infrastructure (121st)—particularly for electricity (135th)—remains in a dire state.
Moreover, the country displays some of the lowest education enrollment rates in the world and basic education is poor (137th).
Pakistan’s competitiveness is further penalized by the many rigidities and inefficiencies of its labor market (138th, down eight), with female participation in the labor force among the lowest in the world (144th).
Pakistan is largely left out of global value chains, relegated to a situation of exporting relatively low-value products, and earning remittances from mostly low-skill workers who go abroad, rather than adding value at home by participating in the increasingly interconnected world service economy.
Pakistan Vision 2025 seeks to drive income growth through sustained improvement in
total factor productivity, rather than increasing input levels.
According to the present government, it is committed to driving national competitiveness by leveraging
knowledge to increase efficiency.
Enterprises across all sectors will be made viable and sustainable without requiring long-term protection or subsidies. Viable enterprises will be developed to compete successfully in the regional and global markets.