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The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012


The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance through its Global Competitiveness Report and report series, aims to mirror the business operating environment and competitiveness of over 130 economies worldwide. The report series identify advantages as well as impediments to national growth thereby offering a unique benchmarking tool to the public and private sectors as well as academia and civil society.The Centre works with a network of Partner Institutes as well as leading academics worldwide to ensure the latest thinking and research on global competitiveness are incorporated into its reports.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012
, comes out amid multiple challenges to the global economy and a continuing shift in the balance of economic activity away from advanced economies and toward emerging markets. Policymakers are struggling to find ways to manage the present economic challenges while preparing their economies to perform well in an increasingly complex global landscape and the report offers a unique tool in addressing some key issues.

This year’s report findings show that Switzerland tops the overall rankings. Singapore overtakes Sweden for second position. Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with Sweden (3rd), Finland (4th), Germany (6th), the Netherlands (7th), Denmark (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th). Japan remains the second-ranked Asian economy at 9th place, despite falling three places since last year.

South Africa moved up 4 places to position 50 and leads the African continent.


To view full report – click here


South Africa Tourism continues to eclipse global trends

South Africa registered an extraordinary 15% boost in tourist arrivals to the country last year – outperforming the worldwide average by 8%. And even though the Fifa World Cup in June and July contributed towards the outstanding increase, visitor arrivals had been buoyant throughout the year.

During the past year South Africa welcomed more than eight million (8 073 552) visitors to the country when compared with 2009 visitors of approximately seven million (7 011 865), comparing incredibly well when it comes to international standards.

Statistics coming from the UN World Tourism Organisation revealed that global tourism arrivals were determined to have expanded by 6.7% in 2010. This resulted in South Africa outperforming the international market by 8%.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, announcing the statistics in Cape Town, proclaimed he had “absolutely no doubt of even more growth this year”.

“All of us are unquestionably ecstatic with these robust growth figures, even more so for the reason that it follows immediately after a global economic recession,” he was quoted saying.

World Cup tourists and new markets

The Department of Tourism suggested 90% of the visitors who arrived for the FIFA World Cup had revealed the fact that they would like to come to South Africa for a second time, mainly because the tournament had created a significantly better representation of the country.

“From the outcomes of our customer survey in relation to arrivals during the World Cup, we fully understand that more than 309 000 visitors arrived in South Africa for the principal purpose of the FIFA World Cup,” Van Schalkwyk mentioned. “The FIFA World Cup arrivals as a result represents approximately four percent of the total arrivals for last year.”

He acknowledged the legacy of the FIFA World Cup was obviously a significant boost for the travel and leisure sector and additionally had cemented a basis for sustained investment and growth in the industry.

“In relation to reaping the added benefits of the FIFA World Cup, now is certainly not the time to sit back,” Van Schalkwyk said. “I wish to ask the whole sector to carry on to build and develop using this positive approval of our country and in addition aggressively entrench our primary tourism market segments and appeal to exciting emerging markets.”

New markets such as Brazil, China and India performed a major part with regard to expanding the industry in 2010, he explained.

“When it comes to terms of growth from the regional markets, the Americas expanded the quickest at 37.4% as compared to 2009,” he mentioned. This was followed by Asia and Australasia at 34.6%, along with long-haul market segments displaying an expansion of 21%.

Strong foundation to build on

The UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and France continued to be South Africa’s top five international source markets. When it comes to emerging markets, significant expansion originated from Brazil with an increase of 66.7%, China revealed a growth rate of 62.3%, India with 29.7% and Nigeria with 10%, even though as a result of comparatively low bases.

“These statistics give a strong foundation on which we are able to build in term of our growth targets for emerging markets,” Van Schalkwyk said. “From a tourism point of view, all of us are in position to gain enormously as a result of our recent inclusion in the BRIC partnership, and we are aligning our planning and strategies accordingly.”


Source: SAinfo, BuaNews, worldtravelertips.com, gttpsa.org, cartanworldcupblog.com, shellinfosight.com, photography-match.com


The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010

Switzerland tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010. The United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. 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 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets.

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.

South Africa, at 45th overall, remains the highest ranked country in sub-Saharan Africa, with a stable performance compared with last year. The country continues to benefit from the large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards (it is ranked 24th in the market size pillar). South Africa does well on measures of the quality of institutions and factor allocation, such as intellectual property protection (24th), the accountability of private institutions (5th), and goods market efficiency (35th). In this area there has been a notable improvement in the evaluation of the country’s financial markets, which have increased in rank from 24th last year to a very high 5th this year, indicating strong confidence in South Africa’s financial markets at a time when trust has been eroded in many other parts of the world. South Africa also does reasonably well in more complex areas such as business sophistication (36th) and innovation (41st), benefiting from good scientific research institutions (ranked 29th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (ranked 25th).

On the other hand, South Africa’s competitiveness would be enhanced by tackling some enduring weaknesses. The country ranks 90th in labor market efficiency, with inflexible hiring and firing practices (125th), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (123rd), and poor labor-employer relations (121st). Furthermore, the country’s innovative potential could be at risk with a university enrollment rate of only 15 percent, which places the country 94th overall. In addition, South Africa’s infrastructure, although good by regional standards, requires upgrading (ranked 45th). In this light, the improvements in transport infrastructure related to the 2010 World Cup is a welcome development that should reinforce South Africa’s competitiveness. The poor security situation remains another important obstacle to doing business in South Africa. The business costs of crime and violence (133rd) and the sense that the police are unable to provide protection from crime (106th) do not contribute to an environment that fosters competitiveness. Another major concern remains the health of the workforce, ranked 127th out of 133 countries, the result of high rates of communicable diseases and poor health indicators more generally. Improvements in these areas will enhance South Africa’s competitiveness outlook.

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Source: weforum.org