On October 17 the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its annual Global Competitiveness Index, measuring the overall economic performance of 140 nations and their ability to attract investment and create business opportunities. The study is based on a series of variables, surveys, and UN-sponsored sources. Among the main variables used to rank countries, the WEF considered the amount of resources at the disposal of each nation and countries’ ability to capitalize on these sustainably, further analyzing levels of innovation. According to WEF, no Latin American country ranks among the 30 most competitive nations. That said, Chile and Mexico were ranked best, at 33 and 46 respectively. Among other notable countries in the region, Uruguay was ranked 53, Colombia 60, Peru 63, Brazil 72, and Argentina 81. WEF further measured security according to perceived levels of trust toward security agencies and overall prevalence of crime, underscoring that security continues to be a major topic of concern in Latin America. While Chile ranks as the safest country in the region at 38, El Salvador is the deemed the most unsafe at 139. Uruguay is ranked 79, Argentina at 108, Peru at 119, Mexico at 127, Brazil at 128 and Colombia at 133. The full report can be accessed here.
The report commissioned by the WEF underlines that Latin America continues to face substantial challenges in terms of boosting productivity and attracting investment to the region. Moreover, it underlines that violent crime is perceivably a common threat which is unlikely to subdue in the foreseeable future. In this context, while Mexico’s competitivity is rising, the worsening security situation hinders its potential for accelerated growth. Chile is seemingly a notable exception both in terms of competitiveness and overall security. That said, although the report showed that citizens generally trust the security services, the country will continue to face challenges stemming from organized crime and aboriginal militancy, particularly in southern regions. Finally, large economies in the region like Argentina, Brazil and Colombia are perceivably downtrodden in regards to competitiveness, economic freedom and overall security. Bearing in mind political turmoil and a high prevalence of organized crime in these countries, including militancy in Colombia, their ranking is not poised to improve significantly in the upcoming years.