Economic prosperity in Pakistan is crawling up but is yet to pick up the pace. This was proved in the Global Competitiveness Index report of 2018 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in which Pakistan successfully managed to get out of the bottom 20 countries as compared to the 2017 Competitiveness Index report.
The report ranked Pakistan at 115th out of the 137 countries that were compared in the index report – only 22 places away from the bottom rank. Last year, the index report compared the governance of 138 countries in which Pakistan was ranked 122nd. Thus, this year marked an improvement for Pakistan as it jumped up by seven places.
However, things are still not on the right track for Pakistan despite some encouraging signs. The country still lies at the bottom of South Asia countries that were compared in the survey. Amongst the other South Asian countries that were compared in the survey, India topped the ranking, standing at 40th position followed by Bhutan at 82nd place. Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh were also ahead of Pakistan with competitiveness ranking of 85, 88, and 99 respectively.
The Competitiveness Index highlighted that the issues faced by Pakistan are the main reason for its low standing as compared to the other countries. Corruption was identified as number issue that hinders people in doing business in Pakistan along with high tax rates imposed by the government. Ishaq Dar led Finance Ministry has imposed new taxes, specifically indirect taxes in order to improve tax collection in the country. These taxes are harming the business community as it increases the cost of doing business.
Another issue that has been highlighted for quite some time now is the health and education sector that is currently in a sad state. World Health Organization in its report “Joint External Evaluation of IHR Core Capacities of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” said that Pakistan is currently not prepared for any health concerns, both internally and externally.
In the health and education sector, Pakistan stood at 129, only 8 places away from the bottom ranked country. In the Competitiveness index, Pakistan improved on 82 indices while its position fell down in 20 key indices. The position of Pakistan on 12 indices remained the same as of last year. You can view the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-18 over here.