In a series of events organized by the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, China's diplomats and business representatives exchanged thoughts and had provocative discussions about the issues, hoping some consensus could be reached through a clash of ideas and heated debates.
In October last year, Ethiopia launched an electric train service that links its capital, Addis Ababa, with the Red Sea port of Djibouti. Kenya inaugurated its diesel-powered standard gauge railway from the port city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi. It is expected to extend to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Geneva-based WEF's report attributes the Chinese mainland's overall competitive score to gains made in technological readiness, occasioned by higher information and communication technology penetration and the extent to which foreign direct investment has been bringing new technology to the country.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 assesses the competitiveness landscape of 137 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
"The East African countries that have seen remarkable improvements, such as Kenya and Ethiopia, host mega infrastructures partly funded and wholly developed by the Chinese. This has not only significantly bridged Africa's infrastructure deficit, but has strategically positioned these countries' economies to benefit from China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative," says Kagiri.
The author poses in front of the famous 5 Pavillion Bridge from Slender West Lake in Yangzhou in an undated photo. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The Global Competitiveness Report ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index, which was introduced by the WEF in 2005. Defining competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories - the pillars of competitiveness - that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country's competitiveness. The 12 pillars are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.