Competitiveness Strategy in Developing Countries: A Manual for Policy Analysis

By Ganeshan Wignaraja | Go to book overview

Notes
1
We would like to thank Michael Chui for helpful comments on the chapter and Friedrich von Kirchbach for access to International Trade Centre export data and many discussions. The views expressed here are ours and should not be attributed to the organisations to which we belong.
2
Developed countries have used benchmarking methods for many years. To quote a recent UK Government report: 'We find that in many sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, there are UK firms whose achievements match the world's best…. The challenge is to find ways to enable other firms to reach the standards achieved by the best. This benchmarking document provides a stimulus for business to review its own performance and a basis for the development of new policies to help business help itself. These policies will be developed in close partnership with business and others' (UK DTI, 1998, p. 4).
3
Other notable players include London based magazines such as Corporate Location and The Economist that provide cost information on international production locations and the IMF's International Financial Statistics Yearbook that provides real effective exchange rates calculated using relative unit labour costs data. More recently, the UNCTAD/WTO International Trade Centre and UNIDO's 2002 World Industrial Development Report have put forward indices based on trade performance.
4
Similar ideas can be found in Alavi (1990) who focuses on the determinants of national competitiveness and lists six categories of factors that affect national performance: macroeconomic dynamism, financial dynamism, infrastructural elements, human resources and firm-level elements. He also proposes a mix of hard and survey data indicators to capture these factors at national level but does not attempt to develop a cross-country composite competitiveness index. For other attempts along these lines see Dominique and Oral (1986) and Pietrobelli (1994).
5
As discussed in Chapter 2, Porter suggests that competitiveness advantages of nations arise from firm-level efforts to innovate in a broad sense (i.e. develop new products, improve production processes and introduce new brands). In turn, he suggests that innovations can take place in any industry as a result of four elements of the diamond framework: factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries and the context for firm strategy and rivalry.
6
The CCI evaluates the factors defining the current level of productivity, measured by the level of GDP per person. CCI looks at microeconomic influences including the sophistication of company operations and strategy as well as the quality of the national business environment. The GCI-the traditional WEF Competitiveness Index which was presented prior to 2000-aims to provide a ranking of the factors affecting medium term (five year) growth, measured by the change in GDP per person. GCI is comprised of three sub-indexes: the level of technology in an economy, the quality of public institutions and macroeconomic conditions related to growth. A mix of hard and survey data (4,600 businessmen) is used to compute the CCI and the GCI. See WEF (2001).
7
The 2001 WEF report is marginally better than the 2001 IMD report in this regard. It contains three low income South Asian economies (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) as well as three middle-income and two low-income African economies (Egypt, South Africa and Mauritius and Nigeria and Zimbabwe, respectively).
8
See http://www02.imd.ch/wcy/methodology/methodology.cfm.
9
Our estimates suggest that for the forty-four common members of the two indices, the ranks (adjusted for non-inclusion) have a correlation of 0.88. This calculation was based on the CCI of the WEF and the IMD single index.
10
The WEF and IMD reports have historically been quite secretive about the methodology used to compute country rankings and this has shielded them from academic

-88-

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