PARTY

South Africa's WEF global competitiveness ranking

Country ranked 3rd on financial market development, 132nd on quality of primary education

South Africa is ranked 52nd this year, remaining the highest-ranked country in sub-Saharan Africa and the third-placed among the BRICS economies. The country benefits from the large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards (it ranks 25th in the market size pillar).

It also does well on measures of the quality of its institutions and on factor allocation, such as intellectual property protection (20th), property rights (26th), the accountability of its private institutions (2nd), and its goods market efficiency (32rd). Particularly impressive is the country's financial market development (3rd), indicating high confidence in South Africa's financial markets at a time when trust is returning only slowly in many other parts of the world.

South Africa also does reasonably well in more complex areas such as business sophistication (38th) and innovation (42nd), benefitting from good scientific research institutions (34th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (30th). These combined attributes make South Africa the most competitive economy in the region. However, in order to further enhance its competitiveness, the country will need to address some weaknesses. South Africa ranks 113th in labor market efficiency (a drop of 18 places from last year), with rigid hiring and firing practices (143rd), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (140th), and significant tensions in labor-employer relations (144th).

Efforts must also be made to increase the university enrollment rate in order to better develop its innovation potential. Combined efforts in these areas will be critical in view of the country's high unemployment rate of almost 25 percent in the second quarter of 2012. In addition, South Africa's infrastructure, although good by regional standards, requires upgrading (63rd).

The poor security situation remains another important obstacle to doing business in South Africa. The high business costs of crime and violence (134th) and the sense that the police are unable to provide sufficient protection from crime (90th) do not contribute to an environment that fosters competitiveness.

Another major concern remains the health of the workforce, which is ranked 132nd out of 144 economies-the result of high rates of communicable diseases and poor health indicators more generally.

Series

Rank

Value

Period

Best performer | Value

GCI Global Competitiveness Index, 1-7 (best)

52

4.4

 

Switzerland | 5.72

 Subindex A Basic requirements, 1-7 (best)

84

4.3

 

Singapore | 6.34

1st pillar: Institutions, 1-7 (best)

43

4.4

 

Singapore | 6.07

1.A Public institutions, 1-7 (best)

50

4.2

 

Singapore | 6.04

1.01 Property rights, 1-7 (best)

26

5.4

 

Finland | 6.45

1.02 Intellectual property protection, 1-7 (best)

20

5.3

 

Finland | 6.28

1.03 Diversion of public funds, 1-7 (best)

84

3.0

 

New Zealand | 6.54

1.04 Public trust in politicians, 1-7 (best)

88

2.4

 

Singapore | 6.26

1.05 Irregular payments and bribes, 1-7 (best)

47

4.6

 

New Zealand | 6.68

1.06 Judicial independence, 1-7 (best)

27

5.3

 

New Zealand | 6.69

1.07 Favoritism in decisions of government officials, 1-7 (best)

110

2.6

 

New Zealand | 5.41

1.08 Wastefulness of government spending, 1-7 (best)

62

3.4

 

Singapore | 5.97

1.09 Burden of government regulation, 1-7 (best)

123

2.7

 

Singapore | 5.57

1.10 Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes, 1-7 (best)

17

5.0

 

Singapore | 6.24

1.11 Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regs., 1-7 (best)

16

4.8

 

Finland | 5.86

1.12 Transparency of government policymaking, 1-7 (best)

35

4.8

 

Singapore | 6.19

1.13 Gov't services for improved business performance, 1-7 (best)

106

3.1

 

Qatar | 5.98

1.14 Business costs of terrorism, 1-7 (best)

29

6.2

 

Slovenia | 6.73

1.15 Business costs of crime and violence, 1-7 (best)

134

2.9

 

Qatar | 6.58

1.16 Organized crime, 1-7 (best)

111

4.3

 

United Arab Emirates | 6.84

1.17 Reliability of police services, 1-7 (best)

90

3.8

 

Finland | 6.64

 1.B Private institutions, 1-7 (best)

26

5.2

 

New Zealand | 6.38

1.18 Ethical behavior of firms, 1-7 (best)

48

4.3

 

New Zealand | 6.63

1.19 Strength of auditing and reporting standards, 1-7 (best)

1

6.6

 

South Africa | 6.57

1.20 Efficacy of corporate boards, 1-7 (best)

1

5.8

 

South Africa | 5.84

1.21 Protection of minority shareholders' interests, 1-7 (best)

2

6.0

 

Finland | 6.06

1.22 Strength of investor protection, 0-10 (best)

10

8.0

2011

New Zealand | 9.7

2nd pillar: Infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

63

4.1

 

Hong Kong SAR | 6.72

2.A Transport infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

36

4.6

 

United Arab Emirates | 6.57

2.01 Quality of overall infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

58

4.5

 

Switzerland | 6.64

2.02 Quality of roads, 1-7 (best)

42

4.9

 

France | 6.48

2.03 Quality of railroad infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

46

3.4

 

Switzerland | 6.78

2.04 Quality of port infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

52

4.7

 

Netherlands | 6.77

2.05 Quality of air transport infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

15

6.1

 

Singapore | 6.81

2.06 Available airline seat kms/week, millions

24

1146.3

 

United States | 32294.29

 2.B Electricity and telephony infrastructure, 1-7 (best)

90

3.7

 

Hong Kong SAR | 6.88

2.07 Quality of electricity supply, 1-7 (best)

94

3.9

 

Netherlands | 6.8

2.08 Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop.

35

126.8

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 209.64

2.09 Fixed telephone lines/100 pop.

99

8.2

2011

Taiwan, China | 72.68

 3rd pillar: Macroeconomic environment, 1-7 (best)

69

4.6

 

Brunei Darussalam | 7

3.01 Government budget balance, %

105

-4.6

2011

Timor-Leste | 50.19

3.02 Gross national savings, %

87

16.5

2011

Kuwait | 59.57

3.03 Inflation, annual %

76

5.0

2011

United Arab Emirates | 0.88

3.04 General government debt, %

68

38.8

2011

Timor-Leste | 0

3.05 Country credit rating, 0-100 (best)

48

61.4

 

Norway | 94.8

 4th pillar: Health and primary education, 1-7 (best)

132

3.9

 

Finland | 6.82

 4.A Health, 1-7 (best)

132

4.1

 

Japan | 6.98

4.01 Business impact of malaria, 1-7 (best)

100

5.1

 

Uruguay | 6.67

4.02 Malaria cases/100,000 pop.

89

31.8

2009

Uruguay | 0

4.03 Business impact of tuberculosis, 1-7 (best)

132

3.5

 

Norway | 6.84

4.04 Tuberculosis cases/100,000 pop.

143

981.0

2010

Barbados | 1.7

4.05 Business impact of HIV/AIDS, 1-7 (best)

135

3.0

 

Finland | 6.74

4.06 HIV prevalence, %

141

17.8

2009

United Arab Emirates | 0.01

4.07 Infant mortality, deaths/1,000 live births

107

40.7

2010

Hong Kong SAR | 1.3

4.08 Life expectancy, years

133

52.1

2010

Japan | 82.93

 4.B Primary education, 1-7 (best)

125

3.8

 

Finland | 6.76

4.09 Quality of primary education, 1-7 (best)

132

2.3

 

Finland | 6.81

4.10 Primary education enrollment, net %

115

85.1

2009

Singapore | 100

 Subindex B Efficiency enhancers, 1-7 (best)

37

4.5

 

Singapore | 5.65

 5th pillar: Higher education and training, 1-7 (best)

84

4.0

 

Finland | 6.18

 5.A Quantity of education, 1-7 (best)

84

4.3

 

Seychelles | 7

5.01 Secondary education enrollment, gross %

53

93.8

2009

Australia | 131.29

5.02 Tertiary education enrollment, gross %

101

15.4

2006

Korea, Rep. | 103.11

5.B Quality of education, 1-7 (best)

119

3.2

 

Singapore | 6.02

5.03 Quality of the educational system, 1-7 (best)

140

2.2

 

Switzerland | 5.98

5.04 Quality of math and science education, 1-7 (best)

143

2.0

 

Singapore | 6.31

5.05 Quality of management schools, 1-7 (best)

15

5.3

 

United Kingdom | 6.06

5.06 Internet access in schools, 1-7 (best)

111

3.1

 

Iceland | 6.51

5.C On-the-job training, 1-7 (best)

37

4.5

 

Switzerland | 6.04

5.07 Availability of research and training services, 1-7 (best)

51

4.4

 

Switzerland | 6.43

5.08 Extent of staff training, 1-7 (best)

26

4.6

 

Switzerland | 5.64

6th pillar: Goods market efficiency, 1-7 (best)

32

4.7

 

Singapore | 5.6

6.A Competition, 1-7 (best)

33

4.8

 

Singapore | 5.87

6.01 Intensity of local competition, 1-7 (best)

51

5.1

 

Netherlands | 6.07

6.02 Extent of market dominance, 1-7 (best)

39

4.2

 

Switzerland | 5.85

6.03 Effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy, 1-7 (best)

6

5.3

 

Netherlands | 5.66

6.04 Extent and effect of taxation, 1-7 (best)

31

4.0

 

Bahrain | 6.29

6.05 Total tax rate, %

48

33.1

2011

Timor-Leste | 0.2

6.06 No. procedures to start a business

29

5.0

2011

New Zealand | 1

6.07 No. days to start a business

80

19.0

2011

New Zealand | 1

6.08 Agricultural policy costs, 1-7 (best)

47

4.2

 

New Zealand | 6.02

6.09 Prevalence of trade barriers, 1-7 (best)

39

4.7

 

New Zealand | 6.31

6.10 Trade tariffs, %

79

6.5

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 0

6.11 Prevalence of foreign ownership, 1-7 (best)

31

5.3

 

Luxembourg | 6.45

6.12 Business impact of rules on FDI, 1-7 (best)

61

4.7

 

Ireland | 6.59

6.13 Burden of customs procedures, 1-7 (best)

56

4.3

 

Singapore | 6.24

6.14 Imports as a percentage of GDP

99

34.8

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 233.13

6.B Quality of demand conditions, 1-7 (best)

40

4.4

 

Japan | 5.87

6.15 Degree of customer orientation, 1-7 (best)

61

4.7

 

Japan | 6.37

6.16 Buyer sophistication, 1-7 (best)

32

4.1

 

Japan | 5.37

7th pillar: Labor market efficiency, 1-7 (best)

113

3.9

 

Switzerland | 5.9

7.A Flexibility, 1-7 (best)

128

3.7

 

Singapore | 6.11

7.01 Cooperation in labor-employer relations, 1-7 (best)

144

2.9

 

Switzerland | 6.07

7.02 Flexibility of wage determination, 1-7 (best)

140

2.8

 

Uganda | 6.26

7.03 Hiring and firing practices, 1-7 (best)

143

2.2

 

Hong Kong SAR | 5.77

7.04 Redundancy costs, weeks of salary

33

9.3

2011

United States | 0

7.B Efficient use of talent, 1-7 (best)

75

4.2

 

Switzerland | 5.88

7.05 Pay and productivity, 1-7 (best)

134

2.9

 

Hong Kong SAR | 5.39

7.06 Reliance on professional management, 1-7 (best)

13

5.6

 

New Zealand | 6.3

7.07 Brain drain, 1-7 (best)

47

3.8

 

Switzerland | 6.29

7.08 Women in labor force, ratio to men

85

0.7

2010

Malawi | 1.06

8th pillar: Financial market development, 1-7 (best)

3

5.7

 

Hong Kong SAR | 5.89

8.A Efficiency, 1-7 (best)

16

4.7

 

Hong Kong SAR | 5.37

8.01 Availability of financial services, 1-7 (best)

2

6.4

 

Switzerland | 6.5

8.02 Affordability of financial services, 1-7 (best)

22

5.2

 

Hong Kong SAR | 6.01

8.03 Financing through local equity market, 1-7 (best)

3

5.4

 

Hong Kong SAR | 5.72

8.04 Ease of access to loans, 1-7 (best)

30

3.5

 

Qatar | 4.91

8.05 Venture capital availability, 1-7 (best)

37

3.1

 

Qatar | 4.68

8.B Trustworthiness and confidence, 1-7 (best)

1

6.7

 

South Africa | 6.72

8.06 Soundness of banks, 1-7 (best)

2

6.7

 

Canada | 6.8

8.07 Regulation of securities exchanges, 1-7 (best)

1

6.5

 

South Africa | 6.5

8.08 Legal rights index, 0-10 (best)

1

10.0

2011

United Kingdom | 10

9th pillar: Technological readiness, 1-7 (best)

62

4.0

 

Sweden | 6.29

9.A Technological adoption, 1-7 (best)

38

5.4

 

Qatar | 6.07

9.01 Availability of latest technologies, 1-7 (best)

39

5.7

 

Sweden | 6.69

9.02 Firm-level technology absorption, 1-7 (best)

38

5.4

 

Sweden | 6.3

9.03 FDI and technology transfer, 1-7 (best)

38

5.0

 

Ireland | 6.43

9.04 Individuals using Internet, %

95

21.0

2011

Iceland | 95.02

9.05 Broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop.

95

1.8

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 42.61

9.06 Int'l Internet bandwidth, kb/s per user

63

18.9

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 964.62

9.07 Mobile broadband subscriptions/100 pop.

49

19.8

2011

Singapore | 110.94

10th pillar: Market size, 1-7 (best)

25

4.8

 

United States | 6.93

10.A Domestic market size, 1-7 (best)

24

4.8

 

United States | 7

10.01 Domestic market size index, 1-7 (best)

24

4.8

 

United States | 7

10.B Foreign market size, 1-7 (best)

39

5.1

 

China | 7

10.02 Foreign market size index, 1-7 (best)

39

5.1

 

China | 7

10.03 GDP (PPP)

25

555.1

2011

United States | 15094.03

10.04 Exports as a percentage of GDP

105

27.4

2011

Hong Kong SAR | 236.89

 Subindex C Innovation and sophistication factors, 1-7 (best)

42

3.9

 

Switzerland | 5.79

11.01 Local supplier quantity, 1-7 (best)

43

5.0

 

Japan | 6.25

11.02 Local supplier quality, 1-7 (best)

34

5.1

 

Switzerland | 6.23

11.03 State of cluster development, 1-7 (best)

47

4.0

 

Taiwan, China | 5.5

11.04 Nature of competitive advantage, 1-7 (best)

107

3.0

 

Switzerland | 6.41

11.05 Value chain breadth, 1-7 (best)

106

3.2

 

Germany | 6.11

11.06 Control of international distribution, 1-7 (best)

26

4.5

 

Japan | 5.62

11.07 Production process sophistication, 1-7 (best)

43

4.2

 

Japan | 6.61

11.08 Extent of marketing, 1-7 (best)

29

5.1

 

United Kingdom | 6.18

11.09 Willingness to delegate authority, 1-7 (best)

33

4.3

 

Denmark | 6.16

12th pillar: Innovation, 1-7 (best)

42

3.5

 

Switzerland | 5.78

12.01 Capacity for innovation, 1-7 (best)

41

3.5

 

Japan | 5.87

12.02 Quality of scientific research institutions, 1-7 (best)

34

4.6

 

Israel | 6.35

12.03 Company spending on R&D, 1-7 (best)

39

3.5

 

Switzerland | 5.93

12.04 University-industry collaboration in R&D, 1-7 (best)

30

4.5

 

Switzerland | 5.93

12.05 Gov't procurement of advanced tech products, 1-7 (best)

105

3.1

 

Qatar | 5.77

12.06 Availability of scientists and engineers, 1-7 (best)

122

3.4

 

Finland | 6.2

12.07 PCT patents, applications/million pop.

37

6.8

 

Sweden | 311

0.01 GDP (US$ billions)

29

408.1

2011

United States | 15094.03

0.02 Population (millions)

23

50.8

2011

China | 1366.96

0.03 GDP per capita (US$)

68

8066.1

2011

Luxembourg | 113533.01

0.04 GDP (PPP)

25

0.7

2011

United States | 19.13

9.B ICT use, 1-7 (best)

78

2.7

 

Denmark | 6.69

11th pillar: Business sophistication, 1-7 (best)

38

4.3

 

Japan | 5.8

Source: World Economic Forum, September 5 2012

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