By Gift Mawire
GENEVA:In a narrow drop,Zimbabwe has crashed a position down to rank 125th out of 140 on a global index of the world’s most competitive economies, where Mauritius is ranked top African performer, a World Economic Forum report released Tuesday has revealed.
The drop in Zimbabwe’s position underlines the country’s continued economic disaster, Limited access to long term finance and policy inconsistency , the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its latest Global Competitiveness Report.
Internationally, Switzerland has retained its top position as the world’s most competitive economy for seventh year in a row and is followed by Singapore, the US, Germany and the Netherlands in the top-five.In Africa Mauritius comes top on 46 th position with South Africa second on 49th and followed by Rwanda on 58th position.
The latest United Nations investment report shows that Zimbabwe’s foreign direct investment (FDI) leapt to US$545 million in 2014 — less than 5% of the country’s GDP — from US$400 million in the previous year, driven by interest in mining, infrastructure and services but still lags regional rivals.
Official data shows that Zimbabwe received US$1,8 billion in FDIs between 1980 and 2013, compared to neighbours Zambia which attracted US$8 billion and Mozambique at US$16 billion over the same period.
“Access to finance remains far and away the main problem, followed by policy instability and restrictive labour regulations,” reads the World Economic Forum report.
This survey was undertaken before the July 17 Supreme Court ruling on labour retrenchments described by the IMF as labour market liberalisation.
The report shows that since 2005 the Zimbabwe score has increased 6% from 3,25 to 3,45, which is 4% below the Sub-Saharan average of 3,58.
The report said sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow at close to a 5 percent annual rate, but competitiveness and productivity remain low, largely because of volatile commodity prices.
Most African countries are in the bottom half of the competitiveness ranking, with Guinea at number 144th . But a few countries are doing well. The report cited Ivory Coast and Ethiopia as this year’s largest improvers in the region overall.