Taipei, Taiwan has been ranked 17th in global competitiveness by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) for 2018, down three notches from last year.
Taiwan was fourth among Asian economies, behind Hong Kong, Singapore and China, which improved five spots to 13th this year, according to the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking published Thursday.
It is Taiwan's worst showing in nine years since 2009, when it was 23rd.
Taiwan has remained among the top 20 performers over the past eight years, taking eighth place in 2010, sixth in 2011, seventh in 2012, 11th in 2013, 13th in 2014, 11th in 2015 and 14th in 2016 and 2017.
Worldwide, the United States took back its No. 1 position from Hong Kong in 2018, improving three spots from last year.
Hong Kong slipped to second this year, followed by Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland, in that order.
The IMD ranked 63 economies based on an analysis of more than 340 criteria grouped in four main categories: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
This year, Taiwan was ranked 20th in business efficiency, down five notches from last year, and 14th in economic performance, down two places.
Taiwan's ranking in government efficiency fell two spots to 12th, while its infrastructure performance was down one place to 22nd.
Commenting on the results, National Development Council Deputy Minister Chiou Jiunn-rong (???) said Taiwan's ranking in economic performance has declined mainly due to the country's unsatisfactory showing in international trade and international investment.
To boost Taiwan's competitiveness, the government is trying to diversify the country's export markets under its New Southbound Policy, and is working to reverse the trade deficit in services by promoting its "five plus two" industries to spur industrial transformation and increase added value of Taiwanese products, he said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs, meanwhile, said the government will look at Taiwan's weaknesses and is pushing for deregulation efforts to improve the country's business environment.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel