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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

I hope the sequence is clear now. First step in Talent Development is to create environment which Enables the development of talent for everyone. It is through policy frameworks, procedures, social, cultural, and legal support systems. Next is to Attract everyone to take benefit of the enabling circumstances and develop their talent. Next is to help Grow their talent. Last input pillar is Retain.

Fourth Pillar – Retain

Turkey tops the list at #79, followed by India at #95, followed by Iran at #104, followed by Pakistan at #111, followed by Bangladesh at #114. Reasons for brain-drain are different for different countries. It could be better opportunities, or it could be law and order at home.

There are two sub-pillars: sustainability and lifestyle. Both determine the long-term retention of talent in any place. A lot of talent from developing countries is attracted towards developed countries due to these factors.

Sustainability is the highest in Turkey at #54 and lowest in BD at #114. Pakistan is at #105, while India is at #89. BD is at the bottom with #113. Four variables contribute towards sustainability.

Pension coverage is the best in the world in Turkey which is at #1. Pakistan is the worst at #125, India at #85, BD at #89. Pension coverage in Pakistan is available only to government employees. Private sector employees are supposed to be covered through the EOBI – Employees Old age Benefits Institution. However, most companies do not register their employees with EOBI because of the contribution they have to pay on behalf of the employees. To become eligible to receive EOBI pension after the age of sixty, the contribution must have been paid for 15 years. An employee who was already enrolled with EOBI may switch jobs and the next employer may refuse EOBI payment. Thirdly, lot of people do not know about their rights and cannot ask for these even if they know. These are some reasons due to which pension coverage is the poorest in Pakistan. BD and India are much better at #89 and #85 respectively. On the contrary, Pakistani people who worked in government department in Europe and chose to come back after retirement are receiving their pension regularly.

Social protection is also the highest in Turkey at #41. Pakistan is at the second place with #63, while BD goes down to bottom at #124. Social protection comes from our social system as well as from the Employees Social Security Institution – ESSI. Both EOBI and ESSI were started by the first PPP government led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. ESSI coverage for industrial workers is more widespread and they do get benefit out of it. The employees and their families are covered for medical and rehabilitative treatment at the ESSI hospitals. More serious cases are referred to tertiary care hospitals.

Brain retention shows a big anomaly. Turkey goes down to #102, India tops at #23, followed by Pakistan at #42. How does this happen that despite the best pension coverage and social protection, Turkey cannot retain its brainy people? This should be understood through the opportunities that become available to aspiring people to do what they wish to do and become successful. Obviously, India is much higher in terms of opportunities. They have done huge work in the digital space and their younger population makes up the backend support of most big multinational companies. Pakistan has also come up lately and a significant portion of work has shifted here. Our youth is also prospering; those who have the knowledge and skills. People have realized that they could do international work while sitting at home. COVID has also changed the way work is done, but it is very recent, and its long-term impact shall have to be seen.

Environmental performance is a big part of sustainability. India is the worst a3 #127, closely followed by BD at #124, and Pakistan at #114. Our neighbors and us are least concerned about environment. Widespread drought and severe weathers are looking at us in the face, we have less than 6% forests as against recommended 15%, and our agriculture land is being fast converted into housing societies. We shall lose our food security quickly due to these factors. Contamination of water streams continues unabated, and wastage of fresh, clean water on washing cars and porches is painful.

The second sub-pillar is Lifestyle. Lifestyle is determined by the availability of goods/services and the financial capability to afford these. None of the five countries in our comparison basket is doing good. The disparity between rich and poor, haves and have-nots has grown big over time. Even India which claims a fast-growing middle class is falling behind on this. The 2021 survey had the background of COVID also which made many people poorer and few people richer. Pakistan is at the bottom at #117, Turkey is the best at #96.

Personal rights variable is just a reflection of where we are. Turkey is at the bottom with #125, Pakistan is at #119, India tops at #83. Our governance has gone from bad to worse, and to counter that, the regimes have become more autocratic and force oriented. Personal rights are lost in this chaos. Personal rights are part of personal security also, one cannot be without the other.

Personal safety comes hand in hand with personal rights. Pakistan is the poorest at #120, all others are also not doing well. Personal safety in Pakistan has really become fragile and vulnerable. Every day we listen about people being molested, robbed, dishonored, kidnapped, killed, and mutilated. We are not a civilized society anymore. Things are happening all over the world due to multiple factors, but we are sliding down fast, and we are not doing anything about it. We prefer to stay aloof. Our effort at government level does not go beyond few oft-repeated statement which have neither substance nor sincerity.

Third variable of lifestyle is Physician Density or number of doctors. All countries are in similar bracket; Turkey is slightly better. Over the years, availability of doctors has improved, and this is contributing to better health status.

Last variable is Sanitation, which is the best in Turkey at #52, and the worst in BD at #112. Iran is also good at #78, Pakistan and India are same at #104 and #105. Sanitation reflects our thoughts and our preference for quality life.

Pakistan does not score well in this pillar – Retain. We may Enable, Attract, and Grow, but we cannot Retain well.

To be Continued…….

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The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021 (

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