Report: Bhutan is ranked 98 out of 118 countries on the ‘global talent competitiveness index’ 2017, compiled by INSEAD, a graduate business school.

As countries are competing to grow and attract better talent and retain those workers who contribute to competitiveness, innovation, and growth, the report states that governments, businesses, and various other stakeholders need quantitative instruments that can help design and implement better policies in areas such as education, employment, and immigration, to name a few. This is thus the purpose of the global talent competitiveness index.

Bhutan however did well in some parameters and has to a lot do in others.

For instance the country ranked 47 of 118 in terms of an enabling environment to facilitate talent but ranked 97 with regard to attracting talents. In terms of growing talent and providing vocational and technical skills, it is ranked 108. While the country is ranked 82 to retain talent, it is placed just two places above the bottom in terms of global knowledge skills.

Despite the average global ranking, the country is ranked fifth in the central and south Asian region and top in the SAARC region.

Delving into the sub-parameters, the country’s stand on some of the areas is reflected, and concerns government agencies and institutions alike.

For instance, when it comes to foreign ownership in the country Bhutan is placed 117 and 110 for foreign investors bringing in new technology. On a scale of 1-7, Bhutan scored 3.57 for FDI bringing in new technology.

In terms of ICT infrastructure, derived from the ICT access index Bhutan is ranked 101 of 118 and 106 for technology utilisation. As for government expenditure on research and development, the country is not even rated.

Government expenditure on tertiary education, as per the report forms 0.62 percent of the total expenditure and is ranked 98 among the 118 countries.

The country did fairly well in terms of business-government relations (58), government effectiveness (56), ease of hiring (1), corruption perception (26), political stability (21), taxation (33), business opportunity for women (18) and social mobility (33).

In terms of using social networks to improve competitiveness, Bhutan is ranked well above China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia, among others. An assessment based on usage of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn revealed that Bhutan stands at 94. On a scale of 1-7, the country scored 5.16.

The report also highlighted that only 14 percent of the workforce in the country is enrolled in the pension system resulting in a rank of 85 in this parameter. Countries like Luxembourg have 100 percent of the workforce enrolled in the pension system, followed by Lithuania (99 percent) and Switzerland (95 percent).

An assessment of whether taxation and social contributions reduce the incentive to work, revealed Bhutan’s position at 33. The country is also placed at 37 for retaining  talented professionals.

Bhutan is also placed at 46 in gauging the education system’s relevance to the economy. But it is poorly rated and is among the bottom five in terms of availability of scientists, quality of scientific institutions and innovation output.

The report also stated that 26 percent of Bhutanese firms offer formal trainings and placed it at the 66th position among 118. In an assessment on to what extent companies invest in training and employee development, the country was rated 3.78 out of 7.

The country is also placed 49 with regard to the relation of pay to employee productivity.

Meanwhile countries like Switzerland, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States of America and Sweden are rated top five countries in the global talent competitiveness index, which is supposedly the vocabulary of government and business leaders around the world.

Tshering Dorji