Taiwan fell one spot to end at No.13 on the World Economic Forum list of most competitive nations, the organization announced yesterday.
At the publication of The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 in Beijing, WEF chief economist Jennifer Blanke said the main reason for Taiwan's decline might have been the lack of efficiency in its labor market. In other fields, such as personnel resources, health care and higher education, the country did quite well, she said.
Taiwan boasted an efficient market and came in at No.7 for its ability to innovate, according to Blanke.
Nevertheless, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong all ranked higher than Taiwan in the report. China moved up to 27 from 29, while Switzerland maintained its position as the world's most competitive economy. Great Britain was the country that pushed Taiwan down one place by moving up to 12 from 13, the report said. The WEF rated a total of 139 countries and territories for their performance in a variety of domains.
Taiwan achieved lower rankings for the maturity of its financial markets, coming in only at No.35, the effectiveness of its labor market, at No.34 in the world compared to No.24 the previous year, and its overall economic framework and environment at No.35, the WEF said.
If Taiwan succeeded in improving those three aspects of its economy, it could well see an advance in its ranking over the next few years, the WEF report said.
Cabinet member Christina Liu, chairwoman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said Taiwan's marks had increased to 5.21 compared to 5.20 the previous year, so in fact there had been an improvement. She also said that the country ended up nine places ahead of its main competitor, South Korea.
Entrepreneurs also received a chance in the report to pick negative aspects of their economy. In Taiwan, more than 20 percent of respondents complained about the instability of government policies, while the inefficiency of the government administration, taxes and currency policies also received high negative marks.
Reports said Taiwan did well on most of the 12 basic indices and 110 factors taken into consideration by the world body best known for its annual economic summits in the Swiss resort town of Davos.
Taiwan ranked No.16 for basic infrastructure and No.1 in the world for its fixed-phone network. The quality of the country's railroad infrastructure earned it the eighth position, reports said.
A No.7 position for inflation showed Taiwan had succeeded in stabilizing prices. The country also occupied high positions for the quality of its elementary education, at No.10, and for the transparency of government policies, jumping to No.7 from No.12 the previous year, reports said.