Slovakia's level of competitiveness improved slightly last year with the country rising from 48th to the 47th place out of 57 countries evaluated in the 2012 World Competitiveness Index (WCI), according to Matúš Pošvanc, the head of the F. A. Hayek Foundation who reported the results to the TASR newswire on May 30. The Slovak branch of the foundation is an economic think tank that prepared information about Slovakia for the WCI. Pošvanc highlighted that the country had plunged from 32nd to the 48th place in 2009.
TASR wrote that the improvement recorded in Slovakia's competitiveness is relative and in absolute terms, as represented by main economic indicators, the competitiveness of Slovakia's economy worsened, but the country did better in the ranking thanks to an even more pronounced deterioration in certain other countries, especially in eastern Europe. When compared to its immediate neighbours, Slovakia lags behind the Czech Republic, which finished 33rd in the latest ranking, followed by Poland at 34th. Hungary was ranked 45th.
The index noted that the major challenges facing Slovakia in terms of its competitiveness are continuing its reforms of the judiciary and curtailing corruption as well as cutting the public-finance deficit to 3 percent of GDP, making reforms in the social system, health care and public expenditures, and improving flexibility in the job market.
Hong Kong, the United States and Switzerland finished as the top three in the 2012 WCI while Venezuela was on the bottom with Greece just above it.
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31. May 2012 at 10:00