File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - According to the World 2018 World Competitiveness Rankings, South Africa ranks 53rd out of 63 countries. 

This year marks the 30th edition of the World Competitiveness Rankings. 

According to the rankings, the countries that ranked in at the top include the United States and Hong Kong. The US ranked in first place while Hong Kong took second place. 

Meanwhile, South Africa reclaimed its 53rd spot since 2017. 

According to the overall performance, SA has proven progress in institutional framework which is driven by its exchange rate stability. 

With regards to crime rate, South Africa showed a slight decrease and also signs of gender disparity. 

According to Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, Professor Arturo Bris, this year’s results show the competitive landscape.

“This year’s results reinforce a crucial trait of the competitiveness landscape. Countries undertake different paths towards competitiveness transformation.” He adds “countries at the top of the rankings share an above the average performance across all competitiveness factors, but their competitiveness mix varies. One economy, for example, may build its competitiveness strategy around a particular aspect such as its tangible and intangible infrastructure; another may approach competitiveness through their governmental efficiency”, said Bris. 

Although SA reclaimed its spot, it is concerning that it did not improve in terms of its competitiveness. This is attributed to some of the challenges the country faces. 

These challenges include a low growth and high unemployment, limited fiscal space and higher public debt interest payments, deteriorating primary and secondary education standards and educational attainment. 

However, some of the strengths of the country include government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. 

SA’s economic performance improved from in terms of domestic economy from 54 points in 2017 to 59 points. International trade also improved from 45 in 2017 to 47 in 2018. Public finance also improved from 49 in 2017 to 53 in 2018. 

                Picture: Overall competitiveness trends for South Africa. (Supplied).

READ ALSO: SA ranked 61st in WEF Global Competitiveness Index

ALSO READ: SA mining industry must balance sustainability and competitiveness

TOP STORY: Shoprite Money - The new free banking service