Economies ill-prepared to face new business risks: WEF

Ten years after the global financial crisis, economies are still at risk and are ill-prepared to face the next wave of innovation and automation due to failure by leaders and policymakers to put in place reforms needed to fortify competitiveness and raise productivity, the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum says.

The report every year assesses the factors driving productivity and prosperity of nations.

The report’s global competitiveness index (GCI) finds Switzerland to be the most competitive economy, narrowly ahead of the United States and Singapore, for the ninth consecutive year. Other G20 economies in the top 10 list are Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan. China tops among the BRICS group of large emerging markets, says a WEF press release.

The report highlights three areas of greatest concern. First, the financial system is yet to recover from the shock of 2007 and declining further in some parts of the world. This is worrying as it plays a key role in facilitating investment in innovation related to the fourth industrial revolution.

Second, there is a need to create conditions to withstand economic shock and support workers through transition periods with vast numbers of jobs set to be disrupted due to automation and robotics.

Third, the imbalance between investments in technology and efforts to promote its adoption throughout the wider economy needs to be addressed as those lead to failure of innovation to ignite productivity.

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