Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Japan Rises To 9th Place In WEF's Competitiveness Rankings


GENEVA, Sept 4  - Japan jump to (9th) ninth place in the overall rankings of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual global competitiveness report for 2013-2014, up from 10th the previous year, Japan's Jiji Press reported, quoting the WEF on Wednesday.

The report said, that though Japan has strengths in business sophistication and innovation, its overall competitive performance continues to be dragged down by severe macroeconomic weakness.

The ratio of Japan's general government debt to its gross domestic product (GDP) reached almost 240 per cent, the worst among 148 economies surveyed, the report said.

"It is unlikely that the coming year will see a reversal in these trends in light of the country's aggressive monetary policy and various stimulus packages," the report said.

Citing what it sees as burdensome regulation, higher taxation and various trade barriers in Japan, the report said: "It remains to be seen whether the government will deliver on its promise to address those structural issues as part of its strategy to revitalize Japan's economy."

Meanwhile, Switzerland remained top of the overall rankings for the fifth straight year for its notable strengths in availability of financial services and capacity to attract talent.

The United States moved up to fifth from seventh, helped by an improvement in the country's financial market as well as greater confidence in its public institutions.

Among other Asian economies, two members were ranked in the top 10, with Singapore placed second and Hong Kong seventh.

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