THE TEL AVIV skyline.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel climbed three spots to 21st place in the 2015 World Competitiveness Yearbook Ranking after falling five place the previous year. But it is still in a lower position than it was four years ago, when it was ranked No. 17.
The index of 61 countries, which is compiled by the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, provides a measure of economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure based on a combination of hard data and opinion surveys.
When it came to technological and scientific infrastructure, Israel shined, coming in No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. But it also ranked in the bottom third in international trade (No. 42), prices (No. 44) and basic infrastructure (No. 48).
In the opinion section, which asked executives their perceptions of Israel’s strongest and weakest elements, 78.7 percent said its strong R&D culture was attractive, followed by high education level, skilled workforce and dynamism in the economy.
They felt its unattractive elements were the effectiveness of the legal environment, labor relations, quality of corporate governance and, at a lowly 4.3%, competency of government.
“The new government should use the report’s finding to drive change in the areas that can lead the economy to long-term growth,” said Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, which compiled Israel’s data for the survey.
Nevertheless, the government should think twice about reforms that could harm the business environment, he said.