Zimbabwe Moves Up Global Competetiveness List

Zimbabwe has moved six places up on the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2011 to 2012 in response to improvements in the assessment of public institutions, ethics and corruption, and efficiency of the Government.

It is now ranked 132 in the rankings by the World Economic Forum up from 138 in the prior rankings.

The observed areas of improvement in the local economy are perhaps attributable to initiatives that have been taken by the Government. These include the implementation of the corporate governance code for State Enterprises and Parastatals (SEPs) and the restructuring of SEPs (notably the resumption of operations at New Zimbabwe Steel (Pvt) Ltd – formerly Ziscosteel).

Reads part of the Global Competitiveness Report 2011 to 2012 on Zimbabwe’s economic profile:

“After falling in the rankings for many years, Zimbabwe tentatively reverses the trend this year for the first time, moving up to 132nd place, an improvement of six places in a constant sample.

“The assessment of public institutions, while still weak, has improved measurably, increasing from 125 two years ago to 107 this year.

“Specific areas of improvement are ethics and corruption and government inefficiency, although significant room for improvement remains.”

The report, however, noted that there are still some major concerns with regard to the protection of property rights (140), where Zimbabwe is second to last, reducing the incentive for businesses to invest.

This is notwithstanding the fact that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion has said it is working to improve the country’s general investment climate, with a special focus on the protection of property rights by acceding the country’s proposed new investment law to international investment protection agreements.

The report also noted weaknesses in other areas in Zimbabwe’s macro-environment, including health (137 in the health sub-pillar), low educational enrolment rates, and official markets that continue to function with difficulty (particularly with regard to goods and labour markets, ranked 124 and 130 respectively).

Local companies have been forced to adjust their business models in line with the new circumstances imposed by dollarisation, which has had a negative impact in respect of industrial productivity.

The low productivity has also resulted in an inefficient labour market, that is, high unemployment and low wages.