Despite improvements in some indicators of economy, Bangladesh's position slipped two spots on a global competitiveness index published by the World Economic Forum.
With an overall score of 52.1 out of 100, Bangladesh came out 105th among 141 countries, the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report says.
Singapore, which secured 84.8 points, was named the most competitive economy in the world, followed by the United States (83.7), Hong Kong (83.1) and the Netherlands (82.4).
With a global position of 68th and a relatively stable score, India leads South Asia on the index but has also lost ground in the rankings, mainly due to faster improvements of several countries previously ranked lower.
In South Asia, Sri Lanka is the top improver. It earned the second position in the region and was ranked 84th globally.
Nepal (108th) and Pakistan (110th) are behind Bangladesh.
According to the report, Bangladesh improved in seven pillars, including macro-economic stability, health, skills, labour market, financial system, market size and innovation capability.
Bangladesh deteriorated in the remaining five pillars – institutions, infrastructure, ICT adaptation, product market and business dynamism.
Bangladesh performed the best in market size, securing 36th position in the world, while the worst performance was in labour market (121th).
To prepare the index, the World Economic Forum measured the strength of countries based on 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs.
The key indicators were categorised into 12 pillars, which included institutions, macroeconomic stability and health.
The Word Economic Forum published the report today worldwide, while the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) published the Bangladesh chapter of the report on a press briefing in Dhaka.
Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of CPD, presented the report and Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director of CPD and Towfiqul Islam Khan, senior research fellow also discussed during the presentation.
Bribes for awarding public contract in 78% cases, 76% in import and export, 74% in tax payment.
Illegal diversion of public fund is approximately 64% as reported by entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Despite significant public investment for infrastructure development over the decade, quality and the standard of essential infrastructure service yet to reach an acceptable level.
Bangladesh stood 72nd in 2010 in infrastructure, now stands at the 100th.
Fast tracked infrastructure project could not maintain their work timeline and has been depriving the private sector of development.
Technology is mandatory for economic development, but it will create unemployment.
To ensure productivity and proper skill of labour force, government should boost investment on education.
Financial management and reporting system is weak. Financial reporting council should act even out of the capital market.
Competition in the market is reducing. 73% businessmen and entrepreneurs expressed that the market share is being gripped by a few business parties.
Cost of business is rising due to the upheaval of crime, according to 51% businessmen.
CPD also published another report titled "Bangladesh Businesses Environment Study 2019" based on global competitiveness report.
The United States, which held the top position in the 2018 ranking, came out second this year although the report said it "remains an innovation powerhouse."
The 10 most competitive countries in the world are:
2. United States
3. Hong Kong
9. United Kingdom
The 10 least competitive countries in the world:
Overall, Asia Pacific was named the most competitive region in the world, followed by Europe and North America.
The average score of the 141 nations was 61, with the World Economic Forum saying that the gap was a greater concern now in the face of a global economic slowdown.