Taiwan moves up 5 spots to 11th in IMD competitiveness rankings

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BRUSSELS (CNA) — Taiwan has moved up five places from last year to 11th in the latest annual world competitiveness ranking released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on Tuesday.

It was Taiwan’s best performance in the last four years after ranking 14th in both 2016 and 2017, 17th in 2018, and 16th in 2019, and the first time it was ranked as high as 11th since the 2015 rankings.

Taiwan also remained the third most competitive economy in Asia in the 2020 rankings, behind Singapore and Hong Kong.

The global top 10 was led by Singapore, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

The IMD ranked 63 economies based on four categories — economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure — using data from 2019 and a survey of business executives in the first quarter of 2020 on their outlook for their country’s economy.

This year, Taiwan, identified as “Taiwan, China” in the report, saw its rankings improve from 12th in the 2019 rankings to ninth in government efficiency, from 14th to 12th in business efficiency and from 19th to 15th in infrastructure.

It fell back from 15th to 17th in the economic performance category, despite making a huge leap in the ranking for the domestic economy indicator from 25th in 2019 to 10th in 2020.

Rankings for international trade and investment also rose slightly, at 27th and 26th, respectively, compared with 31st and 28th in 2019.

But Taiwan was hurt by a fall in the employment sub-factor ranking from 25th last year to 31st this year and in prices from 11th to 14th.

Other indicators that showed improvement in the 2020 rankings were the labor market (up seven spots to 25th), basic infrastructure (up seven spots to 32nd), and institutional framework (up seven spots to 12th).

In the survey of business executives, the respondents identified Taiwan’s skilled workforce, quality of corporate governance, reliable infrastructure, high educational level, and open and positive attitudes as the top attractiveness factors of the country’s economy.

The report said improving cultivation, and retention and recruitment of digital talent, accelerating industrial innovation and digital transformation of enterprises, and moving toward environmental sustainability are Taiwan’s main challenges in 2020.