Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taiwan ranks 29th in the global Enabling Trade Index 2012 compiled by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF), down one place from 2010, according to the latest biennial rankings released Wednesday.
Among the four sub-indexes used for the evaluation, Taiwan was rated 19th in transport and communications infrastructure, 22nd in business environment, 31st in customs administration and 101st in market access.
A total of 132 economies worldwide were included in the index, which measures the extent to which individual economies have developed institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations.
Officials from the Council for Economic Planning and Development said market access remains Taiwan's weakest area probably because the country has not been able to sign free trade deals with most of its trade partners, with Taiwanese exports continuing to face high tariffs in some key markets.
The 101st ranking for 2012 nevertheless represents a rise of five places from 2010, they said.
The WEF report shows that Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden secured their positions as the four best performers in the enabling trade index.
Rounding out the top 10 were New Zealand, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Luxembourg, in that order.
While Japan saw its ranking rise from 25th in 2010 to 18th in 2012, the United States' ranking fell from 19th to 23rd and South Korea slipped from 27th to 34th.
Among the BRICS countries, China was down from 48th to 56th, South Africa up from 72nd to 63rd, Brazil up from 87th to 84th, India down from 84th to 100th and Russia up from 114th to 112nd.
(By Lin Hui-chun and Y.F. Low)