Durban - South Africa has shown significant improvement in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual Global Competitiveness Index, climbing seven places since 2018. The country is now ranked 60th out of 141 economies.
Singapore is the world's most competitive economy, overtaking the United States who held the top spot in 2018.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday welcomed the improved ranking.
“That we have been able to improve our ranking so remarkably and within a relatively short period of time is a welcome sign that the structural reforms put in place to stimulate the economy and promote recovery are slowly but surely gaining traction,” said Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
According to the report, South Africa registered "remarkable progress" with regards to institutional quality, such as in restored balance of powers across different state entities; enhanced administrative efficiency of the public sector, and corporate governance.
South Africa also achieved a score of 100 for its "well developed equity, insurance and credit markets," and ranked 19th globally as a financial hub.
The report also scored the country highly for having "one of the most advanced transport infrastructures in the region" (a ranking of 45th) and for market size (a ranking of 35th).
The report is an annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth in 141 economies. The report ranks the respective economies under a range of socio-economic indicators such as strength of institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, financial systems, macroeconomic stability and business dynamism.
“Whilst we note there are areas for improvement – the report cites security and insufficient labour market flexibility as some of the constraints to growth, this improved ranking gives us added impetus to remain firmly on course with our economic reform agenda,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the country was also looking forward to the release of the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index later this year.
South Africa commenced work to realise its objective to be ranked amongst the Top 50 countries on this index by improving indicators such as starting a business; registering property; dealing with construction permits; paying taxes; and trading across borders, said Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko.