At the end of 2016 the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a new edition of its report on international trade - the Global Enabling Trade Report 2016. The report, published every two years since 2008, features a composite index - the Enabling Trade Index (ETI) - which assesses the extent to which the 136 economies analysed have in place the factors facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destination.
These factors are divided into seven 'pillars', in four sub-indexes: market access (domestic and foreign), border administration, infrastructure (availability and quality of transport infrastructure, availability and quality of transport services, availability and use of ICTs), operating environment (property protection, public institutions, crime rate, etc).
For these sub-categories, the Grand Duchy ranks:
- 27th for market access (5.0);
- 8th for border administration(6.1);
- 16th for infrastructures (5.6);
- 3rd for operating environment (5.8).
These scores mean that the Grand Duchy drops back one place compared with the 2014 edition of the index; this is mainly due to stagnation of the country's performances in the 'market access' and 'border administration' sub-categories.
The Grand Duchy nevertheless makes up for lost ground with the quality of its logistics services, for which it takes top place worldwide. It is indeed in the area of infrastructures that the Grand Duchy has made considerable efforts. Looking forward to 2020, and faced with the considerable increase in road traffic, large-scale infrastructure and road projects have been begun, some of which are having a profound effect on logistics in the Grand Duchy. Major examples are the new rail-route intermodal terminals in Bettembourg and the plans to extend the existing railway network, and the modernisation and extension of the port at Mertert.
As a result, the Grand Duchy now ranks in the top 10 across all the available indicators in this area and 1st for ease and affordability of shipments and their timeliness in reaching destinations. This evolution goes hand in hand with the improvement in the quality of its operating environment, making the Grand Duchy the 3rd best country in the world for companies to operate in and the most open to foreign participation.
The study is based on a total of 57 indicators, both quantitative and qualitative, provided by an annual WEF survey. The ETI composite index can produce a value of between 1 (least good performance) and 7 (best performance).
The 2016 global ranking is headed by Singapore (5.97), the Netherlands (5.70) and Hong Kong (5.66). The Grand Duchy stands in 4th place (5.63) in the global ranking. Germany is in 9th place (5.49), Belgium in 10th place (5.45), and France in 13th place (5.37).
(Source: WEF/Press release from the Observatory for Competitiveness)