October 31, 2003

Number 1 in global competitiveness

Botswana has once more come out on top among African economies according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest "Global Competitiveness Report", which was launched in Washington D.C. Published annually since 1979, The Global Competitiveness Report is considered to be the most authoritative, up-to-date, and comprehensive data source available on the comparative strengths and weaknesses of leading economies of the world. This year Botswana is among the 102 industrialised and emerging economies that are profiled in the Report.

According to this year's Report, Finland has emerged the most competitive economy in the world, while the US is in second position followed by Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and Singapore. The WEF national rankings are based on a comparative survey of growth potential as well as current business competitiveness. The survey seeks to examine key factors that contribute to creating conditions for sustained growth around the world, with a particular focus on the macroeconomic environment, the quality of national institutions, and the state of infrastructure.

Botswana's outstanding position in this year's Report places it ahead of much of Europe, as well as Asia and Latin America. It also follows, and is consistent with, Botswana's top ranking for good governance in Africa according to the WEF's Public Institutions Index, which was released at the Africa Economic Summit held in Durban, South Africa.

The Public Institutions Index, when combined with the Technology Index and the Macroeconomic Environment Index, is a major component in determining the WEF's overall Competitiveness Index. It quantifies such variables as the perceived degree of corruption and the rule of contracts and law, as revealed in responses to a survey of national business leaders on the quality of the business environment of the countries in which they operate. In this respect it dovetails with the annual worldwide Corruption Perception study carried out by Transparency International, which has also consistently ranked Botswana among the world's least corrupt societies. (Mmegi/The Reporter, Gaborone)

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