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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 … Continued from Previous

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

Table 1

CountryGTCI RankingEnableAttractGrowRetainVT SkillsGK Skills

Note. The higher number denotes lower standing

Second Pillar – Attract

None of the five countries has done greatly in this area. The best is Turkey at #119, followed by Pakistan at #120, India at #121, BD at #127, and Iran at #133. There are two sub-pillars under Attract: external openness, and internal openness. While these countries perform better in external openness, their ratings go sharply down.

  • The first sub-pillar is External Openness, which depicts as to how open we are to positive things coming from abroad. The other side of the same coin is that how are we viewed by potential investors, professionals, and immigrants.
    • The most favorite destination for foreign direct investment and technology transfer is India at #52, followed by Pakistan at #74. However, prevalence of foreign ownership is not as much, with India at #58, and Pakistan at #98, This would relate to our government policies, regulations, ease of doing business and overall situation.
    • International students is another indicator of external openness, and Turkey is the best at #79. Curiously, India is at #109, not attracting many students. Iran is better at #93, BD is at the bottom, and figures for Pakistan are not available. When I was a student of FSc in a smaller government college, we had two Jordanian class fellows. Many international students came to various universities in Pakistan for higher studies, this stopped quite some time back. The international students now probably come to religious madrassahs and monasteries.
    • Brain gain is the opposite of brain drain which we had been suffering for so many years. There has been a change however, in the last some years. I met several Indians on various international airports who said they were going back to India because they could get similar work and compensation in their home country. In this survey, India, Pakistan, and BD are closely ranked. We still see lots of people struggling to go out, but more professional, qualified people are opting to stay back. Turkey and Iran are ranked much lower; Iran may be understood due to sanctions etc., but case of Turkey needs more detail to understand.
  • The second sub-pillar is internal openness, and all five countries are doing equally poorly in this area, at ranking from #123 to #129.
    • Tolerance to minorities is the worst in Turkey at #128, and the best in India at #106. BD is at #110, Pakistan at #115, and Iran at #119. Religious intolerance is a major cause of intolerance towards minorities. The bulk of street maulvis are either trained in bigotry and intolerance at their alma maters or do it for personal/commercial gains. The brunt is born by the minorities in various forms; mushroom cases of blasphemy accusations, forced conversions of young girls to Islam are just an indicator of this phenomenon. It is important to note that in all cases, only young girls are converted, it is not the whole family, and it is not mature men and women.
    • Tolerance to immigrants is another area of concern, though all five countries are doing relatively better, but Pakistan is the worst at #107. BD is the best at #71. In the first place, Pakistan is not a melting pot of immigrants; our immigration is mostly internal and even that is not taken kindly. Yes, we got huge number of refugees from Afghanistan over several years, and it has increased again after Taliban takeover. Many of these refugees became immigrants and settled here, many left for other countries, and a large number went back. Immigrants are frowned upon everywhere because they work harder and seize more opportunities which local population considered theirs as a matter of right. In fact, the sentiment against immigrants has been rising world over, and governments have failed to address this issue. It has rather become a political issue in most developed countries and has become more complicated.
    • Social mobility is change of social status from low to high which is accepted by society. India is at the top with #61, followed by Turkey and BD at #84/85, Pakistan is at #95, while Iran is the worst at #121. We know that we shed off strong reservations about ‘new rich’ and ‘old rich’, though gingerly. Our societal values changed to greater orientation about money as a critical value and it eased the way for greater social mobility. Similar situation prevails in other countries while Iran appears to hold on the older values.
    • About women. Overall situation is not encouraging. Women in tertiary education is the best in India at #92, Iran #101, Turkey #102, Pakistan #106, and BD #116.  It appears that women do find a gap and get to the tertiary education level. In Pakistan, many girls go to the university and professional colleges. But when it comes to women in high-skilled jobs, the ranking goes further down. Pakistan is at the bottom with #128, closely followed by India. Turkey and Iran are better. We know that the number of women in high-skilled jobs can be counted on fingers of two hands.
    • On the contrary, women get business leadership opportunity more easily. BD is at the top with #105, followed by Pakistan at #110. Iran is at the bottom with #131.

The findings are mostly in line with what we know already. There are a few surprises also, but not too many.

The analysis of second pillar – Attract – is complete. We are in urgent need of developing greater tolerance, and we must provide more opportunities to women.

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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