Chile remains the leader in competitiveness ranking in Latin America, with Uruguay and Costa Rica close behind
Chile remains the most competitive country in Latin America, according to the recent Ranking of the Competitiveness Institute of ADEN International Business School, corresponding to April 2019. In the measurement, Uruguay and Costa Rica are strengthened in the second and third place, respectively, displacing Panama.
The ranking, which evaluates a total of 125 variables, seeks to know the competitive positioning of the countries of the region based on ten aspects: coverage of basic needs, institutional aspects, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health, education, population expectations , competition in the markets, efficiency in labor relations and access to technology. It should be noted that 18 countries in Latin America participate in the measurement.
In its most recent version, Chile continues to maintain its leadership, although since 2013 its score and the difference on some of the countries of the group has been reduced. "Although it continues to maintain an advantage, it is lower and has relegated leadership in some of the items that make up the concept of competitiveness used in this report," reads the study.
In second place is Uruguay, which has displaced Costa Rica in this measurement and has left Panama in the fourth position. These last three countries show a low score difference that -according to the research- allows identifying them as a group of "very good level of country competitiveness".
The strengthening of Uruguay is due to greater stability of the macroeconomic variables, improvements in the educational area and better access to technology; while in the case of Costa Rica, the strength is due to improvements in the institutional level, greater macroeconomic stability, and advances in infrastructure.
In the fifth place is Mexico, with a certain distance from the score of its predecessors and, in turn, separated from the countries that follow it. The ADEN study highlights that it shows an "acceptable" level of competitiveness, due to an improvement in its score in the last two years.
Behind Mexico follows a group of three countries that show little difference between them in the evaluation: Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. The report explains that this group, which did not exist five years ago in terms of scores, is produced by the rise of Colombia and Peru, and the decline of Brazil. These nations show a 'medium' competitive level, with relative advances compared to the rest in areas of infrastructure, institutional aspects and, to a lesser extent, macroeconomic stability.
The top 10 is completed by Argentina and Ecuador, in the ninth and tenth places, respectively, evidencing some competitive problems that remain over time and that fail to improve to advance the ranking, according to academic research.
Out of the top 10, there is a group of three countries with less acceptable levels of competitiveness, composed of the Dominican Republic (11th), Paraguay (12th) and El Salvador (13th), also separated from each other by a low score. Of this set, the report highlights a lag in Paraguay after several periods of progress, and stagnation of El Salvador.
The following group includes countries that already observe some more marked competitive delays, derived from problems of insecurity, macroeconomic instability, institutional aspects, and infrastructure: Honduras (14th), Guatemala (15th) and Bolivia (16th).
Regarding the case of Guatemala, the study indicates that the Central American country has remained in that position since the two previous measurements, despite the reduction observed in its score. In that line, the analysis of that nation has shown a deterioration of its total score from the previous measurement, going from 58.7 to 57.6 points, on a possible maximum of 100 points.
Finally, in the last group, with different economic and social realities, but with common problems of macroeconomic instability and institutional problems, Nicaragua and Venezuela appear. Both nations have experienced setbacks in their scores, particularly Venezuela, which distance them from the rest and keep them in positions of lag in competitiveness.
Evolution of competitiveness in Latin America
The competitiveness-country, as measured in the report of the Institute of Competitiveness of ADEN, is an attribute that evolves slowly over time. Although some of the variables considered may be subject to "jumps" from one year to the next, for most of them the changes are not so notable in the short term.
The most notable positive developments in the period considered are the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Bolivia. On the other hand, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico have maintained stable "end-to-end" scores, although they have oscillated within the period.
On the contrary, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are the nations that show the most notable decreases. Meanwhile, Panama and Chile also show reductions, although of smaller magnitude.
The results considered reveal that in 2019 there have been some changes in the leadership positions with respect to the previous measurements, although most of the items show the same.
Uruguay maintains a predominance in coverage of basic needs, institutional aspects, and health, displacing Costa Rica as leader of the last two items; while Panama reaches the first position in macroeconomic stability, expectations of the population and competition in the markets.
Chile remains at the forefront in Access to technology and Brazil continues as a leader in Infrastructure. Argentina retakes its position in education front, displacing Costa Rica by a very little margin.
The first place in the aspect of Efficiency in labor relations continues to be for Peru, which has maintained that position since 2014.