GCI ranking improves marginally
The World Economic Forum's annual report on global competitiveness for 2015-16 has recently been made public. Whereas India has moved up 16 places to 55th place from last year and Sri Lanka improved its ratings five places by scoring 68 this year, Bangladesh managed to move up only two points to 107th from 109th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). Yes, we have made significant strides in the areas of better macroeconomic management, and education. Bangladesh lags behind in some crucial areas: inadequate infrastructure, corruption, political stability, poor public health and limited access to finance. And though the government has moved forward to enhance efficiency of the administration, its reforms are lagging behind.
It is the considered opinion that without an active anti-corruption watchdog body, operating freely, the drive against corruption will not succeed. Again without a highly efficient bureaucracy, executing the numerous mega-projects undertaken by the government will face impediments. Going by the feedback on a survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) received from 300 companies in the country, 75 per cent respondents believe the major hurdles to greater competitiveness lie in a less-than-adequate infrastructure and an insufficient and erratic power supply. 96 per cent of respondents, as opposed to 94 per cent the year before, believe the quality of public representatives has suffered.
Our performance in the South Asian context has been disappointing. Unless the nagging problems of infrastructure and good governance are addressed, our aspiration to move up in GCI may suffer a setback.