Czech Republic slips in competitiveness ranking

The business environment in the Czech Republic has got worse over the last 12 months according to a prestigious international economic evaluation. The World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report puts the country in 36th place in its annual ranking.

Photo: Štěpánka Budková
The World Economic Forum is probably best known for its annual summit of the world’s economic and business movers and shakers at the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Czech President Václav Klaus has been a keen participant in the past.

But the Swiss-based foundation also comes up with a headline making annual competitiveness report and ranking of how the economic climate in specific countries has improved or declined.

The latest report for 2010-2011 came out on Thursday and makes for sober reading for Czech decision makers.

The Czech Republic has dropped five places from a year earlier and now occupies 36th place in the ranking of 139 countries worldwide. Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore occupied the top three places on the podium.

This time round, the country has scored particular badly regarding the institutional environment for business with an overall ranking of 72. The Czech Republic was also pulled lower by macro-economic and financial developments over the last year.

It scored better than its overall ranking regarding higher education and learning, where it was placed 24th, and for innovation, where it was scored 27th.

The report also reveals the results of a questionnaire asking respondents to rank 15 business problems. For the Czech Republic, corruption, an inefficient government bureaucracy, access to finance, policy instability and tax rates are the five biggest bugbears.

If the slide in its ranking hardly makes for celebration, the Czech Republic can take some consolation in being the second best placed country from the former Soviet bloc, after Estonia in 33rd place but ahead of Poland in 39th.