SA top among peers in trade – World Bank

2012-05-16 06:53

South Africa ranks top among upper middle-income economies in a World Bank survey that measures how efficiently countries trade.

South Africa is also the highest ranked African country, according to the “Connecting to Compete 2012: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy” report released today.

“Trade logistics is key to economic competitiveness, growth, and poverty reduction,” said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank vice president for poverty reduction and economic management, in a statement.

Overall, South Africa ranks 23 out of 155 countries included in the Logistics Performance Indicators (LPI).

Its main competitor on the African continent, Nigeria, is ranked 121.

Among the upper middle-income countries, South Africa is placed first, followed by China, and then Turkey. Last year, China ranked ahead of South Africa for top spot.

Singapore is the top performer overall, followed by Hong Kong and Finland. Burundi is the lowest ranked.

The study is based on a comprehensive world survey of international freight forwarders and express carriers.

The survey finds that high income economies dominate the top logistics rankings, while the economies with the worst performance are least developed countries that are also often landlocked, small islands, or post-conflict states.

“Infrastructure stands out as the chief driver of progress in top performers, followed by improvements in logistics services, and customs and border management,” said Mona Haddad, sector manager of the World Bank’s international trade department.

“All top performers show strong co-operation between the public and private sectors, and a comprehensive approach in the development of services, infrastructure and efficient logistics.”

The LPI has six components which look at the efficiency of a country’s border control agencies, including customs, the quality of infrastructure, and the east of arranging competitively priced shipments.

It includes the competence of logistics services like transport operators, the ability to track consignments and the frequency with which shipments reach the consignee within the scheduled times.

“Better overall logistics performance and trade facilitation are strongly associated with trade expansion, export diversification, attractiveness to foreign direct investment, and economic growth,” according to the World Bank report.

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