The Global Competitiveness Report 2018


In this report, the World Economic Forum introduced the new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0. The new index sheds light on an emerging set of drivers of productivity and long-term growth in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity. The GCI 4.0 framework is organized into 12 main drivers of productivity, or pillars, grouped into 4 components:

  • Enabling Environment : Institutions, Infrastructure, ICT adoption, Macroeconomic stability
  • Human Capital: Health, Skills
  • Markets: Product market, labour market, Financial system, Market size
  • Innovation Ecosystem: Business dynamism, Innovation capability.

The GCI 4.0 introduces a new progress score ranging from 0 to 100. The frontier (100) corresponds to the goal post for each indicator and typically represents a policy target. There are about 100 indicators. The rank (out of 140 economies) is also given.

Belgium is ranked 21st (out of 140) for the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, dropping two places compared with the previous edition.

Belgium's strengths (Among Top 20 out of 140 economies) are:

  • In Pillar 1 Institutions (21st, score of 70): Organized crime, Judicial independence, Freedom of the press, Incidence of corruption, Property rights, Intellectual property protection, Strength of auditing and reporting standards.
  • In Pillar 2 Infrastructure (13th, score of 86): Road connectivity index, Electrification rate, Railroad density, Electric power transmission and distribution losses, Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, Efficiency of air transport services, Efficiency of seaport services, Exposure to unsafe drinking water, Reliability of water supply.
  • Pillar 3 ICT adoption (40th, score of 66): Fixed-broadband Internet subscription.
  • In Pillar 4 Macroeconomic Stability (1st, score of 100): inflation and debt dynamics.
  • In Pillar 6 Skills (16th, score of 80): School life expectancy, Extent of staff training, Quality of vocational training, Skillset of graduates, Pupil-to-teacher ratio in primary education, Pupil-to-teacher ratio in primary education.
  • In Pillar 7 Product market (22nd, score of 64): Extent of market dominance, Trade tariffs, Efficiency of the clearance process.
  • In Pillar 8 Labour market (37th, score of 64): Workers' rights, Reliance on professional management.
  • In Pillar 9 Financial system (24th, score of 78): Insurance premium
  • In Pillar 10 Market size (33rd, score of 69): Imports
  • In Pillar 11 Business dynamism (18th, score of 74): Time to start a business, Insolvency recovery rate, Willingness to delegate authority.
  • In Pillar 12 Innovation capability (17th, score of 73): State of cluster development, International co-inventions, Multi-stakeholder collaboration, Scientific publications, Patent applications, R&D expenditures, Buyer sophistication, Trademark applications.

The Belgium's weaknesses (after the 70st position) are:

  • Pillar 1 Institutions (21st, score of 70): Terrorism incidence, Burden of government regulation, Shareholder governance
  • Pillar 3 ICT adoption (40th, score of 66): Mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, Fibre Internet subscriptions
  • Pillar 7 Product market (22nd, score of 64): Complexity of tariffs
  • Pillar 8 Labour market (37th, score of 64): Redundancy costs, Hiring and firing practices, Flexibility of wage determination, Internal Labour mobility, Labour tax rate
  • Pillar 9 Financial system (24th, score of 78): Credit gap
  • Pillar 11: Business dynamism (18th, score of 74): Attitudes toward entrepreneurial risk