Pakistan jumped three spots to number 126 out of 140 economies on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for the year 2015-2016.

The country ranked 129 out of 144 economies during the previous year's ranking. This is the second consecutive year that Pakistan's ranking has risen.

The GCI is a comprehensive assessment of the competitiveness landscape of economies, providing insight into drivers of productivity and prosperity.

The five most problematic factors for doing business in Pakistan during 2015-2016 cited by the report are corruption, tax rates, inflation, access to financing and insufficient government bureaucracy.

Source: WEF GCI Report 2015-2016.
Source: WEF GCI Report 2015-2016.

However, the previous year's report cited inadequate supply of infrastructure as the most problematic factor, followed by corruption, insufficient government bureaucracy, policy instability and access to financing.

Source: WEF GCI Report 2014-2015.
Source: WEF GCI Report 2014-2015.

Corruption was also considered the most problematic factor for dong business in Pakistan in 2013-2014.

Pakistan is placed at the factor driven stage of development. This is the lowest level of development along a three-stage spectrum of development which includes an efficiency driven stage at second place and an innovation driven stage ─ the most advanced stage.

Furthermore, a heatmap created by the WEF shows Pakistan placing amongst the 'worst' countries on the GCI. It is followed by Mali, Swazliand, Liberia, Madagascar, Haiti and Sierra Leone, among others.

WEF GCI heatmap.
WEF GCI heatmap.

The GCI scores out of seven Pakistan's competitiveness across 12 'pillars' or dimensions, of which Pakistan figures highest on Market size' with a score of 5 out of 7.

Source: WEF GCI Report 2015-2015.
Source: WEF GCI Report 2015-2015.

According to the WEF's Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, no South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) country featured in the top 50. India, however, is close at number 55, followed by Sri Lanka (68) and Nepal (100).

List of Saarc countries and their rankings:

  • India 55
  • Sri Lanka 68
  • Nepal 100
  • Bhutan 105
  • Bangladesh 107
  • Pakistan 126
  • Afghanistan (not featured)
  • Maldives (not featured)

Among all Saarc countries, Nepal is the greatest gainer since 2007, jumping 14 places during the period, while Pakistan is the greatest loser, falling 24 places.

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