Israel slips in WEF competitiveness rankings

Manufacturers Association: Declining public services are hampering Israel's economic development.

Israel has fallen from 14th to 17th place in the World Economic Forum (WEF) global competitiveness rankings, published in the organizations Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008. The rankings are topped by the US, Switzerland, and Denmark.

The Israel Manufacturers Association, which represents the WEF in Israel, said that, in the components of the competitiveness index, Israel ranked 67th out of the 131 countries surveyed for time required to start a business; 42nd for total tax rate; 31st for burden of government regulation; 37th for quality of port infrastructure; 30th for quality of roads; and 36th for quality of railroad infrastructure.

When it comes to innovation, Israel does better. The country is ranked 5th for venture capital availability; 4th for availability of latest technologies; 5th for firm-level technology absorption; 5th for utility patents; and 7th for company spending on R&D.

Analysis of the results shows that Israel has fallen from 17th to 31st place for quality of math and science education. Israel ranks 4th for personal computers, and 46th for Internet users. For inflation, Israel ranks 19th.

According to the Manufacturers Association, the survey results show that while innovation, technology, venture capital, and private R&D spending strengthen Israel's standing, the country has fallen behind in all the areas under government control. There has been a considerable decline in indicators such as company tax rates, government bureaucracy, red tape in opening a business, and quality of public services. The index shows, the Manufacturers Association says, that this decline is what is hampering Israel's economic development and exploitation of the country's economic potential.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 31, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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