Jamaica ranks 86 in Global Competitiveness Index

Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaica has retained its ranking of 86 in the recently published Global Competitiveness Report, which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2004. The report which was released on Wednesday, September 30th provides an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 140 countries.

This year’s edition found a correlation between highly competitive countries and those that have either withstood the global economic crisis or made a swift recovery from it.

Jamaica Maintains Global Competitiveness

Jamaica, while maintaining its overall global competitiveness, also managed to improve its performance on procedures to starting a business, ranking third globally and 8th in the legal rights index. The report suggests that countries failing to improve or maintain competitiveness since the recession can face future shocks to the global economy, which could have deep and protracted consequences; this is particularly true for emerging markets, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Recommendations from the study pointed to greater reform efforts and investments in infrastructure, skills and innovation. In response to the report, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce and Chairman for the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), Honourable Anthony Hylton, emphasized the importance of a more enabling business environment in Jamaica, stating that ‘reforming the environment is priority for the Ministry and its agencies.’

Minister Hylton at last year’s NCC event

Minister Hylton said, “Perhaps, an important lesson to take away from this report is that Jamaica cannot relax its efforts to build a stronger more enabling business environment, the country still has a lot of work to do to improve its resilience to external factors, however, there is demonstrable evidence that work has started in this regard.”

Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) scores were calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories – the pillars of competitiveness – that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness. The 12 pillars include: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

The Government of Jamaica has taken tangible steps through the formation of the Growth Agenda Steering Committee and the National Competitiveness Council to work with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) to implement key reforms to support the business environment and increase investor confidence.

“Jamaica continues to struggle in the most problematic factors for doing business where inefficient government bureaucracy, crime and theft, tax rates, corruption and access to financing were identified as being the top five hindrances in doing business. As a Government we are making strides to fix these issues as well as improve key drivers such as productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this way our human capital can flourish and so too our economy,” Minister Hylton explained.


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