Balkan Economic Competitiveness Makes Uneven Progress

03 Sep 14

Balkan Economic Competitiveness Makes Uneven Progress

The latest World Economic Forum report on global competitiveness ranks Bulgaria as the best in the Balkans and Albania as the worst, just behind Serbia.

Gordana Andric


The newly-published Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 said that Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Serbia had moved up in the world competitive rankings, while Croatia and Albania dropped a few positions.

The World Economic Forum’s annual survey measured 12 factors, including infrastructure, education and training, labour market efficiency, technological readiness and innovation in 144 countries worldwide.

According to the report, Bulgaria is the leader in the Balkans, ranked 54th overall in the world – a rise of three places.

The report however said that Sofia scored worst when it comes to “favouritism in decisions of government officials” where it was ranked 134th, while its macroeconomic environment was ranked as 36th.

Ranked 59th overall in the world, Romania showed the biggest progress compared to last year’s report, in which it was ranked 76th.

Among the lowest scores Romania got were for the “wastefulness of government spending” – for which it was ranked 116th in the world – and for its capacity to retain talent, for which it was ranked 128th.

Macedonia, now ranked 63rd in the overall survey, also showed significant progress, moving up per ten places. The country scored worst, in 108th place, for its market size, GDP and exports, while it scored best and was ranked 38th for its goods market efficiency, the criteria that measures competition.

Montenegro remained in 67th place, the same as last year. The country was awarded its lowest rank, 134th, for its market size, and got its best ranking for health and primary education, 29th.

Croatia fell per two places compared to last year and now is ranked 77th. One of the lowest rankings the country scored was for government efficiency, 139th, while it highest ranking was for infrastructure and technology, 44th.

Serbia on the other hand, moved five places up, reaching 94th place on the list. The country was ranked 140th for “cooperation in labour-employer relations”, was also given a lowly ranking for government efficiency, 135th .

The best ranking for Belgrade was 49th place for technology.

Not far behind Serbia in 97th overall was Albania, the Balkan country with the lowest ranking. Last year, Tirana was in 95th place.

One of its lowest rankings was 133rd place for property rights, while its best were 29th for the “burden of government regulation” and 14th for the strength of investor protection.

Bosnia and Kosovo were not included in the survey.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)