The Balkan region “lags behind other groups” in economic competitiveness, with Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked worst of all in the region, according to the latest detailed World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitive Index Report 2018.
The report assesses the economic competitiveness of 140 countries, “providing unique insight into the drivers of economic growth in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Europe is a “story of contrasts”, the report says, classifying four distinct groups: “a very competitive north-west, including Switzerland; a relatively competitive south-west, led by France; a rising north-east region, led by Poland, Czech Republic and the Baltic countries, which rank on par with or higher than several Western European economies on several aspects of competitiveness; and the south-eastern region—in particular, the Balkan countries—which lags behind the other groups.”
Bosnia is ranked 91th and slipped down one position compared to its assessment in the 2017 report.
The best ranked regional country is Slovenia, placed 35th, the same position the country held in 2017.
Serbia overtook EU member Croatia since last year’s assessment, jumping from position 70 to 65. Croatia meanwhile slipped down two places, from 66 to 68.
Montenegro is ranked 71th and Macedonia 84th. EU member Bulgaria is ranked 51st, while another member of the Union, Romania, is ranked right below, 52nd.
“The greatest disparities across the continent lie in national innovation ecosystems, with countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans lacking basic innovation infrastructure while countries such as Germany define the global frontier on innovation ecosystems,” the report says.