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Taiwan remains at 13th in WEF competitiveness

Taiwan ranked as the 13th most competitive nation in the world in the newest World Economic Forum (WEF) survey, the third year in a row the nation has garnered the 13th place.

According to the WEF, Taiwan is still strongly competitive yet needs to improve its budget deficit situation.

In this year's report, Taiwan took No. 1 in many categories including fixed-line penetration rate, efforts to curb inflation, medical advances and development of high-tech clusters.

Taiwan is also commended for progress made in several areas including "laws and regulation," "infrastructure," "higher education," "commercial market efficiency," "labor market efficiency" and "financial market development."

Yet the nation's rankings fell in the following categories: "macroeconomic climate," "health and rudimentary education," "market size" and "innovation," the last of which is ironic given Taiwan is being described as an "innovation-driven" economy in the report.

Taiwan's regulatory regime was ranked No. 10 this year, a jump from No. 30 last year. Government transparency ranked No. 6 this year compared to last year's No. 5. Commercial maturity ranked No. 13 just as it did last year. Innovation ranked No. 14, down from No. 9 last year. While the rankings go up and down, they are within the top range compared to other nations.

Yet the WEF warned of the specter of budget deficit, which in Taiwan accounted for 4.9 percent of total GDP last year, ranking No. 91 across the globe. This year the percentage narrowed to 4.3 percent, which the WEF said could still be improved.

As for other nations, Korea ranked No. 19 in total, a jump from No. 24 last year. China ranked No. 29, down from No. 26 last year.

Switzerland ranked No. 1, while Singapore maintained its second place.

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