Vietnam's slide on 'competitiveness ranking' not a big deal

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A Vietnamese economist has suggested that Vietnam's 10-place slide on a Swiss group's global competitiveness ranking will help local business identify their weaknesses rather than affect foreign investment in the country.

The Global Competitiveness Report, annually conducted and published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), is used by businesses to decide which countries are receptive to investment.

According to the 2012-2013 competitiveness report released by the WEF on September 5, Vietnam is ranked 75th out of 144 countries, dropping 10 places from last year's ranking.

Vietnam is in the middle of the list, and it should not slide further in order to keep investment flowing into the country, VnExpress cited Tran Huu Huynh of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry as saying.

But Nguyen Mai, president of Vietnam's Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises, said the ranking is only "one among many factors" investors consider when deciding whether or not to invest in a country.

The report is a tool Vietnamese business can use to help to assess their performance and acknowledge their weak points in order to improve their operations and management, he said.

According to the competitiveness report, businesses find inflation and difficult access to financing most problematic when doing business in Vietnam, but recent official statistics showed positive trends on the two issues.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently said inflation had dropped since the start of 2012 as the country expects the year-end rate to level off at 6 percent, a major change since the days of double-digit inflation last year.

The central bank has loosened its monetary policy, cutting interest rates five times this year.

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