Russia climbs up global competitiveness index

An urban climber at the top of Kudrinskaya Square Building, Moscow © Alexander Voskresensky
Russia has slightly improved its ranking in the global competitiveness index (GCI); up two places to 43rd of 138 countries.

“The Russian Federation fell into recession in 2015, with its GDP shrinking by 3.7 percent, but nonetheless remained rather stable in terms of its competitiveness,” according to the 2016-2017 report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Low prices for commodities affect Russia less than other European countries with the public debt remaining relatively low and gross national savings almost unchanged, according to the WEF data.

The analysts explain the country’s better result by “strengthened fundamentals,” such as the quality and quantity of education (up six positions), innovation capacity (up 12) as well as an improved domestic business environment along with less negative domestic business sentiment than expected.

However, the data shows that commodity prices still have a significant impact on the economy.

READ MORE: Stable ruble instills confidence in Russia’s business giants

“Sharply reduced public revenue and higher inflation, the Russian macroeconomic environment is much less sound, dropping to 51st place,” the report says.

The financial sector is still struggling with a lower inflow of capital related to mineral revenues and “quasi-closure of international financial markets to Russian entities.”

The GCI is calculated on the basis of 113 economic indicators covering 12 categories. The measure takes into account such factors as institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health, education and training, goods market efficiency and labor market, financial market development and innovations.

Switzerland was ranked as the most competitive economy in the world, for the eighth straight year, followed by Singapore, the United States, Netherlands and Germany. The top ten list included Sweden, Britain, Japan, Hong Kong and Finland.