The results of 2019 edition of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) were released on Wednesday at an event hosted by the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in conjunction with First Citizens.
Presenting the results were Dr Balraj Kistow who revealed that in 2019, TT placed 79th out of 141 countries.
Despite TT's score on the index increasing by 0.04 and a noticeable increase in GDP per capita, the country dropped one place from its 78th position in 2018.
The GCI assesses 12 key pillars that represent a country's economy. These pillars include: institutions, skills, infrastructure, health, innovation and labour market, to name a few. A country's performance in these pillars are determined by approximately 103 indicators which assess various aspects of a country's economy.
In analysing TT's performance on the index, Kistow said: "While we might be staying constant or improving incrementally, others are improving faster than us."
Particularly alarming to Kistow was TT's performance in the GCI pillars of skills and institution.
In the skills pillar, it was revealed that TT's score fell from 63 to 61 while TT's score in institution moved downwards from 50 to 48.
Describing the institution pillar as being one of the most critical to the GCI, he said: "This is a key ingredient in the global economic environment."
According to Kistow, the institution pillar contributes 26 indicators to the GCI as he said, "Institution is ground zero as it relates to our global competitiveness."
The institution pillar analyses a country's dynamics in areas such as security, social capital, transparency, corporate governance and public-sector performance. Commenting on the country's performance in these areas, he said: "We are failing in a number of these major categories in institutions."
On a more positive note, he commended TT's ability to hold steady in numerous areas such as infrastructure and the adoption of information and communications technology. In addition, he highlighted the country's steadiness in inflation and debt dynamics. Though holding steady, he noted that regional counterparts such as Barbados and especially the Dominican Republic (DR) were moving faster than us, with the DR jumping four places from position 82 in 2018 to 78 this year. This came as he said, "Just doing good and holding steady is not good enough."