Inefficient bureaucracy pushing back economy

ISLAMABAD – Global Competitiveness Report stated on Wednesday that inefficient bureaucracy and high inflation were main factors pushing back the country’s economy.

The report quoted Pakistan’s more than 200 business leaders as saying that corruption remained the most problematic factor for doing business in Pakistan. It was followed by policy instability, inadequate supply of infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy, high inflation, and poor law and order among the main factors that put Pakistan’s economy at backburner.

Pakistan has slipped down to 133 rank among 148 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, announced in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14. Pakistan was ranked at 124 in 2012-13 and 118 in 2011-12, stated the report which is likely to prompt the international investors to restrain from investing in Pakistan.

Analysts say the gradual slipping of Pakistan’s rank shows weakening of its institutions and capacity of the economy to create space for innovation. Experts say it will have negative impact on Pakistan’s ailing economy. According to the report that was launched Wednesday, areas of public and private partnerships for cooperation for improving competitiveness are also diminishing as well. This indicates increasing mistrust between the public and the private sector due to increase corruption and policy instability issues.

Report identified that excellent innovation and strong institutional environments are increasingly influencing economies’ competitiveness. “Innovation becomes even more critical in terms of an economy’s ability to foster future prosperity,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“I predict that the traditional distinction between countries being ‘developed’ or ‘less developed’ will gradually disappear and we will instead refer to them much more in terms of being ‘innovation rich’ vs. ‘innovation poor’ countries. It is therefore vital that leaders from business, government and civil society work collaboratively to create education systems and enable environments which foster innovation.”

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a partner institute of the WEF, in his findings said that “Pakistan needs to focus on competitiveness or the economy can slide into a dangerous downward spiral. The road to economic recovery will be difficult if Pakistan fails to address its security challenges and business risks.”

The report has included the views of more than 14000 business leaders globally to measure the competitiveness of 148 countries. More than 200 business leaders in Pakistan, identified corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business, followed by policy instability, access to financing, inadequate supply of infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy and high inflation as some of the areas identified in the GCR.