Barbados’ international business reputation has taken another hit in the latest competitiveness report.
The country slumped 17 places to 72nd out of 138 countries in the 2016-2017 Global Competitive Report released three days ago by the World Economic Forum (WEF), an independent international organization for public-private cooperation based in Geneva, Switzerland.
It lists poor work ethic and inefficient Government bureaucracy among the most problematic factors for doing business here.
In 2014 Barbados ranked 55th –– the country was not included in the report last year due to insufficient information –– and the latest ranking continues a downward spiral over the past four years. In 2012-2013 Barbados was ranked 44th and fell three places to 47th the following year.
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 138 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
Also listed among the problematic factors for doing business here were tax rates and restrictive tax regulations.
However, it found that Government instability, poor public health, corruption, policy instability, crime and theft, and an uneducated workforce were not areas of concern here and consequently, could not be viewed as major hindrances to the business climate.
The latest ranking is consistent with the 2016 World Bank Group Report, which placed Barbados 119 out of 189 countries, down three places from 2015.
In that report, Barbados ranked 100 in starting a business, down five places from last year; 158 in dealing with construction permits; 164 in enforcing contracts and 166 in protecting minority investors.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had questioned the information gathering process for that report at the conclusion of a recent meeting of the full Social Partnership.
The WEF explained that competitiveness was seen as the “set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy, which in turn sets the level of prosperity that the country can achieve”.
The Global Competitive Index combines 114 indicators that capture concepts that matter for productivity and long-term prosperity, it said.
It explained that these indicators are grouped into 12 pillars including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
Jamaica (75th) and Trinidad and Tobago (94th) were the only two other English-speaking Caribbean countries featured in the report. [email protected]