Vietnam advanced two spots this year to 68th out of 144 economies considered by the global competitiveness rankings, according to the World Economic Forum.
Following an episode of double-digit inflation in 2011, Vietnam’s macro-economy gradually improved and inflation has since declined to 6.6 percent, the Geneva-based organization said in its annual “Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015” report.
The report, released on Wednesday, also gave a better assessment of the Southeast Asian country’s public institutions based on improved property rights protections, efficiency, and a lower level of corruption.
In a region where many countries have poorly-functioning labor markets, Vietnam ranks 49th -- its best showing among the 12 “pillars,” which include institutions, infrastructure, health and education, labor market efficiency, technological readiness, innovation and business sophistication, according to the report.
While noting Vietnam's modest progress in the quality of transportation and energy infrastructure, the report said the country’s financial sector and its banks “remain vulnerable”.
“The country’s businesses are especially slow in adopting the latest technologies," the report noted, citing this slowness as a cause for persistently slow productivity gains.
“The degree of business sophistication is low (106th, down eight), with companies typically operating toward the bottom of the value chain,” the report added.
The top of the rankings continues to be dominated by highly advanced Western economies and several Asian tigers.
For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland leads the top 10, and again this year Singapore ranks as the second-most competitive economy in the world.
Overall, the rankings at the top have remained rather stable, although it is worth noting the significant progress made by the US, which climbed to 3rd place this year, and Japan, which rose three positions to 6th.
The Global Competitiveness Report was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2004.