In a big boost for India in terms of its global economic ranking, the country has jumped 16 places to settle at thirty-ninth position in the Global Competitiveness Index, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said.
With the new index, India is the fastest riser among 138 countries surveyed.
The Indian economy has stabilised and now boasts of the highest growth among the G-20 countries, the report underlined.
In its Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17, the WEF attributed India’s good performance to improved monetary and fiscal policies as well as lower oil prices.
India’s “competitiveness has improved across the board, in particular in goods market efficiency, business sophistication, and innovation”.
The report also highlighted that India happens to be the second-most competitive economy among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, with China ahead at 28th spot.
Switzerland, Singapore and the United States remained the world’s most competitive economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
The report emphasised that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.
Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for undertaking reforms, the report said, “India’s competitiveness score stagnated between 2007 and 2014, and the economy slipped down the GCI rankings. Since the new government took office in 2014, India climbed up the rankings to 39th in this edition of the report.”
Improvement in infrastructure was small and faltering, but picked up after 2014, when the government increased public investment and sped up approval procedures to attract private resources, it said. “The institutional environment deteriorated until 2014, as mounting governance scandals and seemingly unmanageable inefficiencies saw businesses lose trust in government and public administration, but this trend was also reversed after 2014,” it added.
The WEF analysts have called India the best-performing economy in south Asia and an engine of growth in the region.
They said, if implemented well, the Goods and Services Tax will be a “game changer” for the country.