Malta Retains Competitiveness Ranking


Malta managed to retain the same spot, ranked 52 among 133 economies, in the global competitiveness rankings according to The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 issued yesterday by the World Economic Forum.

The survey, designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business climate, was issued ahead of the annual meeting of the New Champions 2009 being held in Dalian, China. Switzerland tops the overall ranking and the United States, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability, falling one place to second position.

Other EU countries that trail Malta are Lithuania, at 53, which ranked 44 last year, Hungary at 58 from 62, Romania at 64 from 68, Greece at 71 from 67 and Bulgaria, which remained at 76.

The country profile highlights the most problematic factors for doing business in Malta. High among these factors is inefficient government bureaucracy followed by tax rates, access to financing, an inadequately educated workforce, an inadequate supply of infrastructure, tax regulations, restrictive labour regulations, inflation and a poor work ethic in national labour force.

Advantages and disadvantages for Malta

The Global Competitiveness Index goes into detail and lists the specific advantages and disadvantages for Malta. The disadvantages are burden of government regulation, government deficit and debt and the national savings rate; the quality of electricity supply and roads; the availability of research and training services; flexibility of wage determination, hiring and firing practices, pay and productivity and female participation in labour force; domestic market size index and foreign market size index; capacity for innovation, quality of scientific research institutions, company spending on R&D, University-industry collaboration in R&D and availability of scientists and engineers.

The advantages, however, surpass by far the disadvantages and include property rights, intellectual property protection, Judicial independence; quality of port and air transport infrastructure; health and education; financial market sophistication and soundness of banks; and the availability of latest technologies and firm-level technology absorption.

Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five economies. European economies continue to prevail in the top 10 with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to thirteenth, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets. The People’s Republic of China continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one place this year, solidifying its position among the top 30.

The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report.