Azerbaijan advanced by two more steps and ranked 35 in the "Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018" of the World Economic Forum. Thus, Azerbaijan is ahead of 3 countries out of every 4 in the world, and has maintained its leadership among the CIS countries in this most prestigious international rating. Even countries such as Italy, Russia, Indonesia, India, Turkey, South Africa, included in the "Big Twenty" (G20) on the index of economic competitiveness, lag behind Azerbaijan. Russia occupied the 38th place, Kazakhstan - 57th, Georgia - 67th and Armenia – 73rd in the global competitiveness ranking.
Azerbaijan's position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, has improved in the following 9 of 12 indicators: Institutions (the country has advanced by 15 steps and occupied 33rd place), infrastructure (advanced by 4 levels, 51st), healthcare and primary education (advanced by 1 stage, 74th place), higher education and research (advanced by 10 stages, 68th place), the efficiency of the commodity market (climbed by 19 stages, 31st), labor market efficiency (climbed by 9 steps, 17th place), the development of the financial market (advanced by 18 steps, 79 th) and business complexity (advanced by 20 steps, 40 th) and Innovation (advanced by 11 steps, 33th). Thus, Azerbaijan achieved the greatest progress in the category of business complexity - 20 steps. Cluster development and competitive advantage were key criteria where the greatest progress was achieved in this sphere. In the "Infrastructure" category, the transport system of Azerbaijan ranked 43 among 140 countries. In the category of labor market efficiency, Azerbaijan ranked 17th in the world in terms of "effective use of talents". On this indicator, our country was ahead of such countries as Israel, Ireland, Belgium, Austria and Estonia. According to the "Efficiency of the commodity market" indicator, Azerbaijan ranked 32 for the competitive element, 31 for quality condition of demand.
The lag was recorded only on two indicators - the macroeconomic environment and technological preparation. Despite the influence of external shocks, Azerbaijan ranked 37 out of 140 countries in the "budget balance of the government" indicator given under the category "budget balance of the government". In this category, Azerbaijan also
occupies a strong position particularly in the "government debts" indicator - 43rd place. Concerning the macroeconomic environment category, the level of inflation is one of the indicators by which Azerbaijan lags behind.
No change was recorded in the position of Azerbaijan in the indicator on the volume of the market.
Despite the fact that structural problems are assessed as the main global challenge in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, Azerbaijan ranked 33rf in the world in the indicator of institutions. The report further indicates that world countries faced challenges in the field of innovations during the fourth industrial revolution, however, Azerbaijan managed to strengthen its positions in this area and advanced to the 33rd place. In particular, Azerbaijan ranked 14th for public procurements in the field of high technologies and outstripped countries such as Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. Although in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 introduces "destructive inequality" as one of the main worrisome trends in the world, Azerbaijan was introduced as one of the countries across the world with the lowest level of social inequality due to the lower Gini coefficient in the country.
Azerbaijan’s advanced position in the most prestigious world ranking is a high evaluation given by international community to the complex economic reforms policy implemented directly under the leadership of the President Ilham Aliyev. It should be specially emphasized that after the Executive Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Additional Measures to Improve the Favorability of the Business Environment in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Further Improvement of the Country's Position in International Rankings," dated July 13, 2016, comprehensive measures were continued in this area. In a short time, the legislation and administration were improved to create a business environment facilitating that ensures the optimal profitability of entrepreneurial activity and is based on the principles of competitiveness, to increase the country's investment attractiveness, and to improve Azerbaijan's position in international rankings. At the same time, the results of monitoring and evaluation of the Strategic Roadmaps approved by President Ilham Aliyev on December 6, 2016 also show that the course of systematic economic policy gives its positive results. Azerbaijan's advancement in by stages in the "Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018" testifies to the country's dedication to further strengthen its positions in other prestigious rankings.
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