Competitive, moi? Turkey jumps up the league

September 5, 2012

Switzerland tops the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness league for the fourth year running, according to the latest survey out today, while the United States is slipping down the table because of political and economic problems.

But quite a few emerging market countries are jumping up the league.

Charles Robertson at Renaissance Capital highlights Turkey and Nigeria as some of the best performers in the last year, rising 16 and 12 places respectively in the index, which is based on 12 measures, including infrastructure, macro-economic environment, and market size.

Turkey has moved into 43rd place, above Brazil and India. Nigeria has only reached 115th, but it trumps other sub-Saharan African countries like Mozambique and Uganda.

Turkey’s stockmarket has risen a staggering 32 percent this year (where broader emerging markets are only up 2 percent), despite well-documented troubles within the euro zone, the country’s main trading partner, and a civil war in neighbouring Syria.

“From a top-down view, Turkey does not look very good,” says  Xavier Hovasse, fund manager at Carmignac. But Hovasse adds that the country has been quick to shift some of its export sector away from the euro zone and towards the more buoyant Middle East, and has successfully competed there with exporters from countries like South Korea.

Turkey scores well in the league on its large market and intense local competition, but has an inefficient labour market.

Robertson agrees, pointing to a relatively low employment-population ratio of around 50 percent in Turkey, which he says compares with a healthier 70 percent in some countries.

 

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