The World Economic Forum published the Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018, which assesses factors driving productivity and growth in 137 countries. According to this report, Panama dropped 8 slots in comparison to the same report of the previous year, placing 50th, after being in the 42nd position.
The isthmus is located below Costa Rica, which is in the 47th position, reflecting an improvement of 7 points regarding the previous qualification, as well as Chile that occupies the 33rd position and maintains itself the same. In addition, Panama is one of the countries with the greatest setbacks with – 8 points alongside Honduras which also has – 8 points and the Dominican Republic with – 12 points.
The report highlights the potential problems the nation is facing. These include state bureaucracy, unskilled labor, restrictive labor regulations, and corruption.
Following this assessment, Panamanian businessmen affirm that this rating would jeopardize the country's economy and even affect investments, as there are those who guide themselves by this type of analysis when investing and prefer to settle in countries with better qualifications.
Severo Sousa, president of the National Council of Private Enterprise, asserts that as long as the public sector does not work in conjunction with the private sector and adequate solutions are achieved, progress is made more complicated.
Aida Michelle Maduro agrees with the above. Maduro is the former president of the Union of Industrialists of Panama and current president of the Association of Free Zones and notes that the government must admit that there are weaknesses that must be addressed and must also hear the private sector.