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China ranks 46th of 104 economies - Report
By Xu Binglan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-13 00:02

China ranks 46th out of 104 economies evaluated in the Geneva-based World Economic Forum's latest World Competitiveness Report, dropping two places from last year.

A stable macroeconomic environment is China's main strength. But its deficiencies such as weak banks and low prevalence of advanced technology offset its advantages and gave the country its modest position, said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist and Director of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Programme.

The report, which was released Wednesday, said Finland remains the most competitive economy in the world and tops the rankings for the second consecutive year. The United States ranks second and Sweden third.

Lopez-Claros, speaking to journalists prior to the release of the report, said he predict China's position would be stable in the coming few years as neither its advantages or disadvantages would change dramatically over a short period.

The rankings are drawn from the results of an opinion survey, which this year polled over 8,700 business executives in 104 economies worldwide.

The survey is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy's business environment which are key factors in determining sustained economic growth.

The final rankings were based on dozens of small indicators in three main categories -- the macroeconomic environment, the quality of public institutions which underpin the development process, and the level of technological readiness and innovation.

China excels in terms of its macroeconomic environment, which reflects the strength of economic activity and the absence of major macroeconomic imbalances.

It ranks first in the national savings rate, 14th in recession expectations and 17th in the inflation rate.

But it lags behind on indicators including soundness of the banking system, irregular payments in public utilities and protection of intellectual property rights.

In technology, although the information and communication technology industry has developing very rapidly, the penetration rates of the Internet, cellphones and phone lines are still relatively low, largely due to the country's huge population, Lopez-Claros said.

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