WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2018 sheds light on the impact of the fourth industrial revolution

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2018, recently published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the competitiveness landscape is being radically altered by the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital technology. The study maps the competitiveness of 140 economies through 98 indicators. The U.S. economy is the closest to the ‘competitiveness frontier’, followed by Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. In parallel, the fourth industrial revolution ‘makes the pathway to development less certain, notably for emerging economies betting on industrialization and the demographic dividend’. One of the report’s most concerning findings is the relative weakness across the board when it comes to mastering the innovation process, from idea generation to product commercialization. It also pointed out that global economic health would be positively impacted by a return to greater openness and integration, however, it is critical that policies be put in place to improve conditions of those adversely affected by globalization within countries. Redistributive policies, safety nets, investments in human capital, as well as more progressive taxation aimed at addressing inequality are important do not need to compromise an economy’s levels of competitiveness.