Brazil ranks 71st for global competitiveness

Data are collected across 141 by the World Economic Forum

Published in 09/10/2019 - 16:32 By Pedro Peduzzi* - Brasília

A report put together by the World Economic Forum shows Brazil ranking 71st on the global competitiveness list comprising 141 countries.

The highest-ranking nation on the ranking is Singapore, overtaking the US, which comes second. Hong Kong is third, followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the UK.

Among Latin American countries, Chile (33rd) still has the regional lead, followed by Mexico (46th) and Uruguay (54th). All other Latin American nations, except for Brazil and Colombia, faced downgrades in 2019.

The survey was made public today (Oct 9) in Brasília at the 1st Seminar on Competitiveness in Infrastructure.

In 2018, Brazil occupied the 72nd position in the study, carried out in collaboration with the Brazilian Dom Cabral Foundation (FDC). According to the research, the country is currently experiencing “sluggish recovery of its competitiveness.” The following years, the study argues, showed “free fall in nearly all competitiveness indicators.”

“[The country] lost both absolute and relative competitiveness in this period, reaching its lowest position on the ranking in 2016. In 2017, given the change in the report’s methodology, greater control over public spending and expectations on future changes, the country started a new growth cycle, which, nonetheless, did not continue on into 2018,” the document reads.


Competitiveness is “a government strategy, even though some factors bring distortions as a result of the magnitude of our country,” said Marcelo Sampaio, executive secretary at the Infrastructure Ministry, during the event’s opening.

“Infrastructure is among the main obstacles for the economic growth of the country, which stopped growing because of excessive bottlenecks,” he added.

In the view of Carlos da Costa, special secretary for Productivity and Competitiveness with the Economy Ministry, Brazil has a lot to improve.

“Compared to the US, our productivity has been on the wan since 1980 and today is 25 percent of that of the US. The low progress in Brazilian productivity led to the country’s falling on the rankings for global competitiveness. We’re still distant from OECD countries. International studies converge about the main bottlenecks in Brazil’s productivity, and we’re working to tackle them one by one,” he stated.

The target of the Special Secretariat for Productivity and Competitiveness, of the Ministry of the Economy, is to lead Brazil to 50th place in 2022.

The forum’s index comprises over 110 variables, part of which stems from opinion polls among executives and another part derives from sector indicators.

Of the countries that marked high for competitiveness, 20 are Europeans, two are North American, seven Asian, four Middle Eastern, two are in Oceania, and only Chile is Latin American.

*Kelly Oliveira contributed to this article

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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