Brussels, May 31 (CNA) Taiwan moved one notch down to the seventh place from sixth in the previous year in the 2012 global competitiveness rankings compiled by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management and Development (IMD).
Taiwan, despite the regression, remained one of three Asian countries on the top 10 list of the annual rankings among 59 countries, with competitiveness ranked far ahead its neighbors who are also its major competitors in the global market -- South Korea, China and Japan, according to the IMD report.
China's ranking fell from the 19th to 23th, while South Korea continued to place on the 22nd. Japan's ranking dropped from the 26th to 27th.
The rankings of Brazil and India, two other BRICS countries, also dropped. Malaysia moved two notches up from the 16th to 14th.
Hong Kong continued to stay on the top place in the 2012 rankings, followed by the United States, Switzerland and Singapore. Also on the top 10 list are Sweden, Canada, Taiwan, Norway, Germany and Qatar in that order, the report showed.
Taiwan's drop was attributed to its gloomy economic performance, one of four major indicators -- including government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure -- for the competitiveness evaluation.
IMD professor in strategic management and enterprise innovation Howard Yu told CNA that in general, Taiwan has preserved its sharpness in government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
While international trade is a major factor affecting the economic performance of a country, it is not up to Taiwan to control the factor, Yu said. He noted that in the past year, both the volume and proportion of direct foreign investments in Taiwan have declined.
Taiwan's ranking in economic performance fell from the eighth place in 2011 to the 13th. Its performance in five sub-indicators -- domestic economy, international trade, international investment, employment and prices -- scored worse than the previous year.
Yu suggested Taiwan strengthen its research and development capability as part of efforts to sharpen its competitive edge.
Taiwan should weigh what is important to the country, and what technology Taiwan should make effort to develop, he advised.
The IMD report indicated that global economic fluctuations have affected most emerging economies. South Africa and Russia were the only two among the BRICS countries to have advanced in the 2012 rankings.
(By Tsao Yu-fan and Elizabeth Hsu)