Economies of Portuguese-speaking countries make slight gains in competitiveness in 2017

The economies of the Portuguese-speaking countries, with the exception of Mozambique, recorded slight gains in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018, released last week.

Portugal was the Portuguese-speaking country best placed on the index put together every year by the World Economic Forum, ranked 42nd among 137 countries, and also the one that performed best – four places above the previous edition of the index.

The Portuguese economy achieved better scores on infrastructure (18th) and health and primary education (18th), followed by technological aptitude (26th) and the weaknesses identified were the development of the financial market (116th) and the macroeconomic environment (105th).

The main constraints identified are bureaucracy, taxes, restrictive labour legislation and political instability.

The largest Portuguese-speaking economy, Brazil, has risen to 80th place, with the market size (10th place overall), technological aptitude (55th place) and business sophistication as its strongest points (56th), with the macroeconomic environment (124th place) and the efficiency of the goods market (122nd place) its weakest aspects.

The main problems identified in the Brazilian economy are taxes, restrictive labour legislation, corruption and bureaucracy.

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) has been rising in recent years, but in 2017 it remained 110th overall and in 10th place among the most competitive African economies.

The most problematic factor for Cape Verdean entrepreneurs is access to finance, followed by government bureaucracy and taxes.

The best scores are in the institutions – 65th place – and health and primary education – also 65th place – both considered basic requirements, with the worst aspects being market size (134th overall) and business sophistication (118th).

Mozambique is the exception to improvement and stability, falling three places to 136th, or second to last place in the overall index.

The strengths of the Mozambican economy were the efficiency of the labour market (98th) and the size of the market (99th) with the macroeconomic environment (137th) and higher education and training (135th) its weakest points.

The main problems identified in the Mozambican economy are access to finance, corruption and bureaucracy.

The Mozambican Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) reacted to the publication of the index in a statement on 28 September, attributing the decline “to the fact that Mozambique has grown in the export of raw materials,” and played down competitive factors.

The CTA also suggested that “business clusters should be located close to the country’s development corridors,” in areas with “a bit of everything in terms of comparative advantages: water, fertile land and easy access to the sea.” (macauhub)