Caribbean Nations Largely MIA From Global Competitiveness Index

People work sewing in one of the companies in the Free Zone located on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, on September 29, 2018. (Photo credit: ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images)
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By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 19, 2018: Ten years on from the global financial crisis, Caribbean economies, like many globally, are hardly competitive, with just four making it on to this year’s Global Competitiveness Index.

While The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 finds that the Caribbean has seen 10 years of continued improvement in competitiveness, it only lists four countries in the entire region on this year’s index.

They are:

1: Jamaica, which ranked at 70th out of 137 nations worldwide and scored just 4.2.

2: Second in the Caribbean was Trinidad and Tobago, which ranked at 83 globally and scored just 4.1.

3: In the third spot is the Dominican Republic which ranked at a mere 104th globally and scored 3.9.

4: And rounding out the small tally of Caribbean nation is Haiti, which ranked lower still at 128 out of 137 with a 3.2 score.

So, what’s the most problematic factors affecting their competitiveness and doing business in these nations? They varied per country.


In Jamaica, the top five issues affecting their competitiveness rank are:

  1. Crime and theft
  2. Tax rates
  3. Corruption
  4. Access to financing
  5. Inefficient government bureaucracy

Trinidad & Tobago

In Trinidad & Tobago, the top five issues affecting their competitiveness rank are:

  1. Poor work ethic in national labor force
  2. Inefficient government bureaucracy
  3. Corruption
  4. Foreign currency regulations
  5. Crime and theft

The Dominican Republic

In the DR, the top five issues affecting their competitiveness rank are:

  1. Corruption
  2. Inefficient government bureaucracy
  3. Tax rates
  4. Inadequately educated workforce
  5. Crime and theft


In Haiti, the top five issues affecting their competitiveness rank are:

  1. Access to financing
  2. Government instability/coups
  3. Policy instability
  4. Inadequate supply of infrastructure
  5. Inflation


Latin America has also seen 10 years of continued improvement in competitiveness. Chile continues to lead the region at placing 33, followed by Costa Rica ranked 47 and improving seven positions. Panama comes next, ranking 50 and falling eight positions. Argentina showed most improvement, placing 92 and going up 12 positions. Brazil stabilizes at 80, improving one position, as well as Mexico ranked 51st. Colombia and Peru each fall five positions, ranking 66 and 72 respectively. Last in the region comes Venezuela.


Switzerland remains the world’s most competitive economy, followed by the United States and Singapore.

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