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The eighth edition of Global Talent Competitiveness Index – GTCI – 2021 has been published. This year it has been co-produced by INSEAD, France, and Portulans Institute, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, and Geneva.

GTCI measures talent along set parameters in various countries of the world, which more or less remain the same. In the 2021 report, 134 countries are included. The complete report has 328 pages and those interested may follow the link at the end to see the full report.

Analysis of Findings

We shall analyze Pakistan alone and vis-à-vis our neighbors.

Table 1

CountryGTCI RankingEnableAttractGrowRetainVT SkillsGK Skills
  • The higher number denotes lower standing
  • Pakistan is at 107th rank which is quite low when we see that it is out of 134 countries
  • A detailed look reveals that many of the African countries are above Pakistan
  • Of the four main input-pillars, the situation is as follows about the first one – Enable at 109 is already lower than the overall ranking of 107.
    • Regulatory landscape is at 124, even lower than the national ranking. This speaks clearly about our regulations which tend to disrupt, rather than enabling the talent. The legislations are written by the government departments, are ‘discussed by legislators, most of whom are not qualified to understand and interpret it. India is the best in this group with 76th rank, better than their national rank. It means they have worked in this area and made it more conducive for talent development.
    • Government effectiveness is at 108, similar to the national bar. Read with the first one, it endorses that government is not doing enough to enable talent in its various forms. India is again the best with 59th rank, even better than Turkey’s 69.
    • Rule of law is at 106, like the national ranking. We know firsthand that the rule of law is weak in Pakistan, and that it damages the government effectiveness. India leads by a wide margin at 54th rank. This is surprising because we tend to believe that India has poor status about rule of law. However, this survey shows that the rule of law and the writ of the government are stronger in India.
    • Political stability is at 133, much below the national 107. We know that it is not new; it goes back seven decades. India is better than than the rest, but not very good. India had always had political government, but stability is still not high. Turkey. Whose national ranking is the best in this group, also comes up poorly in terms of political stability. Even Bangladesh is above Pakistan in this sub-pillar.
    • Regulatory quality is also poor at 109. Turkey is the best at 71 and Iran is the worst followed by Bangladesh. India is better at 80.
    • Corruption is slightly lower at 102, less than the national rank. Surprisingly, Iran tops this small list with 118, closely followed by BD at 117. India and Turkey are the same at 69. This is again surprising because we tend to believe that India has huge corruption problem.
    • Market landscape is the best in Turkey at 43, and the worst in BD at 115. Pakistan is at 95 which means that our market landscape supports talent development.
    • Extent of market dominance is the best in Iran at 33, followed by Turkey at 58, followed by Pakistan at 72. Iran case in understandable because they have been under sanctions for a long time. Their own people are dominating their market. Pakistan is at 95 which is better than national rank. We have a mixed situation where our own talent is doing well, but other factors also play.
    • Ease of doing business is often taken as a parameter for investment, both local and foreign. BD is the lowest in this area at 129, and India is the best at 60. Pakistan at 95 offers modest ease of doing business. In fact, the one-window operations are not truly one-window; it is many windows to run to get approvals. Turkey is the best at 31, while India is also better at 60.
    • R&D expenditure is a direct indicator of innovation. Turkey is the most supportive at 39, followed by Iran at 44. Pakistan does not have enough expenditure on R&D and is rated at 89 while data for BD is not available.
    • ICT infrastructure is the best in Turkey at 53, followed by India at 73. Though India is known to have the highest number of users of smart phones and internet usage in rural areas is even higher than urban centers. Pakistan is at 95, just above BD. Information technology is critical now for talent development.
    • Urbanization is another indicator for talent development because cities offer more facilities for education, work, and development. Turkey is the best at 44; India is the worst at 118. We do understand that urbanization has disadvantages also, particularly, for countries like ours who need a solid agriculture base.
  • Enable is not yet complete and we shall continue with it.
  • Recommendations shall be made at the end of discussion of each pillar.

To be Continued…….

Disclaimer. Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021 (

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