Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity, warned the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its report on Wednesday.
Drawing on data going back 10 years, the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 highlights in particular three areas of greatest concern. These include the financial system, where levels of "soundness" have yet to recover from the shock of 2007 and in some parts of the world are declining further.
Another key finding is that competitiveness is enhanced, not weakened, by combining degrees of flexibility within the labour force with adequate protection of workers' rights. With vast numbers of jobs set to be disrupted as a result of automation and robotization, creating conditions that can withstand economic shock and support workers through transition periods will be vital.
The WEF's data also suggests that the reason innovation often fails to ignite productivity is due to an imbalance between investments in technology and efforts to promote its adoption throughout the wider economy.
The WEF's Global Competitiveness Report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity. For the ninth consecutive year, the report's Global Competitiveness Index finds Switzerland to be the world's most competitive economy, narrowly ahead of the United States and Singapore. China is the highest ranking among the BRICS group of large emerging markets, moving up one rank to 27.