ISLAMABAD (Online) Switzerland tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, released today by the World Economic Forum. Pakistan (118th) partially bounces back from last years significant drop in rank of (123). Yet, in several categories, it still requires improvements in performance among the developing Asia region. Pakistan particularly needs to concentrate on the most basic areas of competitiveness, namely institutions (107th), infrastructure (115th), health and primary education (121st), and the macroeconomic environment (138th). The Report says that in order to benefit from the scale advantages associated with its significant market size (30th), CSF has identified that Pakistan will have to decrease regulatory rigidities in the labor market (now ranked 136th) and reduce barriers to domestic and foreign competition in order to render the markets for goods and services more efficient (93rd). Last but not least, boosting the technological adoption of firms and the public at large would allow for considerable productivity increases in the country. Shahab Khawaja, Chief Executive Officer of the Competitiveness Support Fund, a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, said that Pakistan is facing multiple challenges on its economic, security and globalization fronts; however the policy-makers must not lose sight of long-term competitiveness fundamentals. For the recovery to be put on a more stable footing, Pakistan must ensure that growth is based on productivity enhancements. The economy is struggling with fiscal challenges and anaemic growth, it needs to focus on competitiveness-enhancing measures in order to create a virtuous cycle of growth and ensure solid economic recovery. This years improvements in ranking also shows the continuous efforts that the CSF has been putting in identifying and advising the Government on the key critical factors to improve competitiveness and economic growth in Pakistan, said Shahab. After a number of difficult years, a recovery from the economic crisis is tentatively emerging, although it has been very unequally distributed: much of the developing world is still seeing relatively strong growth, despite some risk of overheating, while most advanced economies continue to experience sluggish recovery, persistent unemployment and financial vulnerability, with no clear horizon for improvement, said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. The complexity of todays global economic environment has made it more important than ever to recognize and encourage the qualitative as well as the quantitative aspects of growth, integrating such concepts as inclusiveness and environmental sustainability to provide a fuller picture of what is needed and what works. Switzerland tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, while Singapore overtakes Sweden for second position. Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with Sweden (3rd), Finland (4th), Germany (6th), the Netherlands (7th), Denmark (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th). Japan remains the second-ranked Asian economy at 9th place, despite falling three places since last year. The Global Competitiveness Reports competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), developed for the World Economic Forum by Sala-i-Martin and introduced in 2004. The GCI comprises 12 categories - the pillars of competitiveness - which together provide a comprehensive picture of a countrys competitiveness landscape. The pillars are, on which the ranking are measured are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum with its network of Partner Institutes. CSF is the Partner Institution of WEF in Pakistan. This year, over 14,000 business leaders were polled in a record 142 economies. The survey is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economys business climate. This year the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) carried the Executive Opinion Survey through 250 leading business professional, consisting of small to medium and large enterprises from January to April 2011. The report contains an extensive data section with a detailed profile for each of the 142 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the rankings, as well as data tables with global rankings for over 110 indicators. Established in 2006, the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the mandate to reposition the Pakistans Economy on a more global competitive footing. The Competitiveness Support Fund is the partner institution of the World Economic Forum in Pakistan on the Global Competitiveness Network. CSF is based on international best practices to strengthen and make the private sector more competitive and to improve the policy framework needed for innovation-based competitiveness. The Competitiveness Support Fund is supporting Pakistans goal of a more competitive economy by providing input into policy decisions, working to improve regulatory and administrative frameworks and enhancing public-private partnerships within the country. The CSF is also providing technical assistance and co-financing for initiatives related to entrepreneurship, business incubators and private-sector led initiatives with research institutes and universities that contribute to creating a knowledge-driven economy. CSF activities are helping all producers along the value chain that contribute to ultimate product quality. By obtaining better value and better prices for quality products, and improving cooperation throughout the Pakistani economy, the CSF is contributing to poverty alleviation by providing more income for producers and better employment prospects for employees.