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Vietnam falls three places in Global Competitiveness Index

Robots are seen at a factory of Vietnam's largest dairy producer Vinamilk in the southern province of Binh Duong.
Robots are seen at a factory of Vietnam’s largest dairy producer Vinamilk in the southern province of Binh Duong.

Vietnam was relegated three spots to 77th out of the 140 economies listed in the latest Global Competitiveness Index released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday.

This year, the WEF introduced its new concept, the Global Competitive Index 4.0 (GCI4.0) – a revision to its past criteria meant to incorporate the role of human capital, innovation, resilience, and agility as the drivers and defining features of economic success during the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The annual report organized 98 competitive indicators for each of the 140 economies into 12 pillars and applied a new progress score ranging from 0 to 100, rather than the old benchmark of seven, to create the list.

Under this new concept, Vietnam fell three places from last year’s ranking of 74th, despite increasing its score from 57.9 to 58.1 compared to 2017.

Within the Southeast Asian region, it has the sixth highest ranking, behind Singapore (second), Malaysia (25th), Thailand (38th), Indonesia (45th), and the Philippines (56th).

According to the report, Vietnam’s Health dimension was ranked 68th with 81 points, the highest score it achieved in all areas, while its Innovation capability was a dismal 33.4 points, putting it at 82nd in that particular category.

In terms of Market size, Vietnam stood behind only 28 other economies in the world with 70.9 points.

Vietnam was ranked lowest in Product market at 102nd with 52.1 points.

On the global scale, the U.S stopped Swizerland’s nine consecutive years of leading the GCI to top this year’s rankings, followed by Singapore and Germany.

Also included in the 2018 GCI was the categorization of the 12 pillars into four categories – Enabling Environment, Human Capital, Markets, and Innovation Ecosystem.

The results showed that there are only a few innovation powerhouses in the world, including Germany, the United States, and Switzerland.

The global median score on the Innovation capability pillar is 36, by far the lowest score across the 12 pillars.

For 77 of the 140 economies studied, Innovation capability was the weakest pillar.

The report also revealed the importance of openness for competitiveness, underlining that open economies tend to be more innovative and competitive, especially at a time of escalating trade tensions and a backlash against globalization.

The WEF published its first Global Competitiveness Report in 1979. Since 2004, it has ranked countries based on the Global Competitiveness Index.