Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Competitiveness: Competitiveness Support Fund and World Economic Forum to develop a New Sustainable Competitiveness Framework in Pakistan

Competitiveness: Competitiveness Support Fund and World Economic Forum to develop a New Sustainable Competitiveness Framework in Pakistan

Competitiveness Support Fund and World Economic Forum to develop a New Sustainable Competitiveness Framework in Pakistan

CSF and World Economic Forum to develop a New Sustainable Competitiveness Framework in Pakistan

As the world marks 7 billion population count, Pakistan will become the 5th most populace country with 314 million people in 2050 from the current 177 million. Pakistan must prioritize its economic resource for a sustainable growth and economic development, Shahab Khawaja

To measure the impact of sustainability on economic competitiveness, the World Economic Forum and its partner organization in Pakistan, the Competitiveness Support Fund will be working together in developing a new analytical framework – the Sustainable Competitiveness Index (SCI). The SCI takes a long-term approach to highlight factors that could represent vulnerabilities to national competitiveness and productivity in the future.

The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) established to reposition Pakistan’s Economy on global competitive footing.

Shahab Khawaja, Chief Executive Officer of CSF said, “through its flagship Global Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum has over the course of the last three decades studied and measured the drivers of national competitiveness, including a wide range of factors such as governance, infrastructure, education, innovation and proper functioning of markets. To supplement this traditional analysis, the new index accounts for elements required to make competitiveness sustainable over the longer run, in economic, social and environmental terms”.

With this new methodology, Pakistan can actually lose 3 to 9 positions on its current position from 118 on the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, Shahab Khawaja added.

The recent events in the last few years have indicated that Pakistan needs to put more focus on its sustainable development efforts, according to analysts, the SCI is extremely important for Pakistan, as it will provide the Government of Pakistan an overview on its long-term sustainable development initiatives.

According to CSF, poor institutional water and disaster management capacity in Pakistan are key indicators which will be addressed by the SCI as its sub-indices focuses on the access to improved drinking water, forest cover change and water stress index.

The SCI maintains almost all of the elements already captured by the Forum’s existing competitiveness work, which are important for both short and longer term objectives, but it also integrates a number of additional concepts, including social cohesion, environmental policy, resources efficiency, management of renewable resources and environmental degradation.

With the goal of contributing to the discourse about the drivers of sustainable competitiveness, and also of encouraging feedback at this early stage that can serve as input for refining and further developing the concept, CSF in cooperation with WEF decided to release the preliminary results of this evolving work in the latest edition of the Global Competitiveness Report 2011.

The SCI currently covers 100 countries, and an analysis of how the results of the Index differs from those of the traditional competitiveness ranking provides a sense of which countries are not only competitive now, but are also preparing well for their future competitiveness.

Sustainable competitiveness is a nascent area of research, and the Forum’s initial work has shown that much of the data measuring the key concepts is not yet available. It will take a multi-year effort to properly capture the concept of sustainable competitiveness through reliable indicators that can be gathered for a large number of countries.

To ensure that this issue is approached in a comprehensive way, the World Economic Forum has created a high-level Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness to provide guidance and input into the process. The Advisory Board members are drawn from the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, representing leaders from government, business, academia and civil society.

The Competitiveness Support Fund is the partner institute in Pakistan for the Global Competitiveness Network of the World Economic Forum. As the partner institute, CSF conducts the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan, a survey implemented globally in over 142 countries worldwide. The results of the Executive Opinion Survey are presented each year in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

To promote competitiveness in Pakistan, CSF disseminates the results of the Global Competitiveness Report and the rankings of Pakistan in order to identify areas where competitiveness can be improved. It also encourages dialogue and debate on competitiveness on Pakistan’s business, government and academic forums.

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