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Romania ranks second to last in EU for competitiveness but ahead of non-EU neighbors


Romania ranks 78th for competitiveness in 2012/2012, out of 144 countries around the world, and second to last in the Eu, ahead of Greece, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country has slipped one place since last year, due to the inclusion of the Seychelles in the report for the first time. The Island Archipelago went straight in at number 76, pushing countries behind back a place. Romania is however ahead of countries like Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, the Republic of Moldova and Serbia. Hungary was on the 60th place, and Bulgaria, on the 62nd.

Unchanged in first and second place are Switzerland and Singapore, while Northern European countries fill most of the top ten places, with Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK all in the top ten. The US, in 7th place, Hong Kong (9 ) and Japan in 10th spot round out the world’s ten most competitive states.

The World Economic Forum’s report suggests a widening competitiveness gap in Europe, “Switzerland and countries in Northern Europe have been consolidating their strong competitiveness positions since the financial and economic downturn in 2008,” reads the report. Southern and Mediterranean states have, however, struggled to increase their competitiveness since the global economic crisis. “Countries in Southern Europe, i.e. Portugal (49th), Spain (36th), Italy (42nd) and particularly Greece (96th) continue to suffer from competitiveness weaknesses in terms of macroeconomic imbalances, poor access to financing, rigid labour markets and an innovation deficit,” states the World Economic Forum.

Romania scored 4.07 out of a possible 7 for competitiveness, and the country’s mid table placing in the world rankings appear fairly constant, coming out 77th in the last two years and with this year’s one place slip due to the inclusion of the Seychelles for the first time. First placed Switzerland’s competitiveness score was 5.72, while tenth placed Japan scored 5.40.

The last placed countries, Yemen, Guinea, Haiti, Sierra Leone and Burundi all scored below ’3′ for competitiveness.

Full report here. 

Liam Lever, liam@romania-insider.com

(photo source: WEF; in picture: Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF)