Vietnam has moved up five positions to rank 70th on the 2013-14 globalcompetitiveness list issued by the World Economic Forum, regaining half of the ground it lost last year.

The report said this was mainly the result of a slightly better macroeconomic environment, which was ranked 87th among world nations, up 19 positions.

After jumping to almost 20 per cent, inflation was back to single-digit levels in 2012, strengthening the country's position, and improvements to the quality of transport and energy infrastructures saw this ranking jump 13 places to 82nd.

Vietnam also advanced in the goods market efficiency pillar to 74th, up 17 positions, thanks to lower trade barriers and a lower tax rate for businesses.

Despite these encouraging developments, the foundation of the country's economy and prosperity remained fragile. The country sits below 55th place in every criteria except for market size where it occupies 36th.

It lost ground in several areas of the Index, including labour market efficiency — down five to 56th — and financial market development at 93rd, also down five.

Another area of concern is technological readiness, where the country slipped four places to 102nd.

Although new technologies were spreading among the population, Vietnamese businesses were particularly slow to adopt the latest in their sectors, thus forfeiting significant productivity gains through technological transfer.

As in previous years, this year's top 10 was dominated by a number of European countries, with Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom confirming their places among the most competitive economies.

Switzerland retained top spot again this year as a result of its continuing strong performance across the board.

Singapore remained the second-most competitive economy in the world, while Hong Kong and Japan placed 7th and 9th.-VNA