There is a growing interest in policy circles in the developing world in comparing competitive performance across countries and obtaining guidelines for strategy.2
Policy makers are typically concerned with how their economy has been performing in relation to: (a) countries at a similar level of economic development (or within the region) which they would like to outperform; and (b) countries at a higher level of economic development (e.g. Newly Industrialising Economies (NIEs) in East Asia) whose strategies they would like to emulate. Similarly, multinational companies constantly research the costs and benefits of production locations on a worldwide basis. This interest has fuelled several attempts to devise a competitiveness indicator at the national level, a composite measure ranking countries according to particular criteria. The number of rankings (published and unpublished) of national competitiveness prepared by governments, consultants and research organisations is growing and becoming increasingly influential in policy formulation.