By Nguyen Van Phu - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Vietnam has climbed five notches to the 70th position on the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness Report thanks to an improvement in the nation’s macro economy.

With this position, the nation has regained half the ground it lost last year. From 59th position in 2010, it dropped to 65th in 2011 but fell 16 places to 75th last year.

This year, 148 nations have been ranked in the list compared to 144 in the previous year. 

According to the report, this progression is mainly the result of a slightly better macroeconomic environment (87th, up 19 positions). After jumping to almost 20%, inflation was back to the single-digit level in 2012 while there were improvements in the quality of transport and energy infrastructures, albeit from a very low base (82nd, up 13 positions).

Vietnam also advances in the goods market efficiency pillar (74th, up 17 positions) thanks to lower trade barriers and a less heavy tax rate on businesses. However, despite these encouraging developments, the foundation of Vietnam’s economy and prosperity remains fragile.

The country ranks no higher than 57th in any of the pillars except the market size pillar (36th). It loses ground in several areas of the index, including labor market efficiency (56th, down five positions) and financial market development (93rd, down five positions).

Another area of concern is technological readiness (102nd, down four positions). Although new technologies are spreading among the population, Vietnamese businesses are particularly slow to adopt the latest technologies for their business use (128th), thus forfeiting significant productivity gains through technological transfer.

Since 2006, the nation has seen fluctuations in the global competitiveness list. Vietnam made a slight increase between 2006 and 2008, then moved up strongly from 2009 to 2010 and tumbled in the following years.

Sunday,  September 8,2013,18:24 (GMT+7)