Malta's Global Ranking On The International Competitiveness Index Highlights Some Serious Problems

And yesterday's demonstrations confirms them

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Taking a look at the results for the World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Index 2017 - 2018 reveals they are even more relevant than ever. The Index compares 137 different countries based on twelve pillars of competitiveness, and while Malta does come in at 37th in Overall Competitiveness, some of the individual rankings do not reflect so well on the island.

Malta does well in some areas - the Soundness of our Banks is ranked at 17th in the index, and Malta's Quality of Primary Education comes in at 13th - but the country does rather poorly in others.

When it comes to the level of Judicial Independence in Malta (basically how independent the Maltese judiciary is of governmental, company or individual influence) Malta is ranked at 51st from 137 - right under Azerbaijan.

Public Trust in Politicians? A miserable 74th. Reliability of Police? 51st - just above the Czech Republic, which was a Communist country less than 30 years ago.

Especially damning is Malta's ranking on Governmental Favouritism, i.e. to what extent do government officials show favouritism to well-connected firms and individuals when deciding upon policies and contracts. Malta is ranked 89th... and Malta is trending downwards in this case, meaning things might be getting worse.

And when it comes to certain infrastructure, some aspects are definitely getting worse. While the quality of Overall Infrastructure is ranked at 42nd, Malta's Quality of Roads is ranked at 98th, placing us under Ethiopia's score. 

On the positive side, Malta's Port Infrastructure is ranked at 22, above South Korea, which is commendable. 

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  • Public trust in politicians - 74th
  • Reliability of police - 51st 
  • Governmental favouritism - 89th
Global Competitive Index 2017 - 2018

It's not all bad news though. Malta is ranked 29th out of 137 countries in the level of Overall Basic Requirements found in the country, just under Israel.

Government Efficiency in Public Spending comes in at 31st, and Malta even comes in at an incredible 11th when it comes to Overall Health and Primary Education.

This is reflected in Malta's awesome ranking of 16th in Life Expectancy - ahead of countries like the UK, USA, and Holland.

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  • Life expectancy - 16th
  • Overall health and education - 11th
  • Accountability - 26th
Global Competitive Index 2017 - 2018

More than anything, this Index is an informed way at looking at what areas a country needs to improve in, some of which might not be obvious at first. While Malta is doing well in some areas, some areas need a lot of work. 

Clearly, something needs to be done to improve Malta's public institutions. Elements of the government and the judiciary especially must be improved - and the best way of doing so would be by changing the systems they use in their protocol. 

If you consider the way power is distributed in these institutions, Malta is inherently bound to be ranked at a low level - the system we use in Malta won't allow the country to be ranked any higher. 

How can Malta be ranked higher than a country that appropriately distributes power in public institutions if a lot of the decision-making power in Malta is centralised, and a strong independence between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government does not exist?

Until a more suitable model is implemented - or the Constitution is changed - Malta can expect to be ranked lowly whenever its public institutions are judged. Until then, let's at least try to raise that abysmal roads rating, shall we?

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Over 12,400 risk executives across 136 countries were asked to identify the global risks of highest concern for doing business in their country in compiling the Global Competitive Index.

What do you think about Malta's rankings in the Global Competitive Index? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]