The following is an example of Time Magazine’s Business Competitivenes indicator in an overall new section called Global Business on its website. It seems that Tom Friedman in his book The World is Flat, may have tripped off the publishing of reports comparing the effective business infrastructure and competitiveness of various world countries.
Time Magazine appears to have taken up the information and is reporting on over 160 countries where it is possible to do comparisons of the business climate of those countries. There is a GCI-Global Competitive Indicator which Time tells us “has been developed for the World Economic Forum by Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin, the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) measures the competitiveness of nations using economic statistics and extensive polling of international business leaders.”
Professor Michael Porter of Harvard University is responsible for the design and measures of the detailed report.
From these sources, there is the comparative chart which offers some of the key measures that went into forming the GCI index. What strikes this viewer is that many of the factors mentioned by Tom in The World is Flat have not been shown in this graph. Tom tried to get at simple measures of business activity: time to legally incorporate, availability of unbiased credit ratings, average time to get paid on invoice, availability of legal recourse on business disputes, average time for business legal cases to be resolved, etc. Unfortunately, the Global Competitiveness Report, that is used to derive the graph has buried in it bowels the relevant observations. To an extent one see aggregates of the data here. Nonetheless, the overall direction and measures of the reports has a reasonably high level of openness and transparency to allow for informed comparisons for investment. By putting the measures on Time’s Global Business section of its website, economic and political leaders will have clear starting benchmarks for their national business competitiveness.
Time should take at least a fifth of praise for this endeavor.