Mr Richard Johnston and Miss Laura Heery (Ulster)
Competitiveness is a key driver in the rate of economic growth and living standards. Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC) developed the Competitiveness Scorecard on behalf of the Economic Advisory Group, taking a similar approach to the Republic of Ireland’s National Competitiveness Council. The Scorecard benchmarks NI’s relative competitiveness against a range of competitor nations over a five-year period in more than 150 indicators. There are eleven pillars that make up the Scorecard, including macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability, quality of life, environmental sustainability, business environment, business performance, education and skills and innovation, research and development. The presentation will focus on outcomes (economic, quality of life and environmental), the economic environment (labour supply, productivity etc.) and policy drivers (Education and skills, Innovation R&D etc.)
In overall terms, NI’s competitiveness performance has improved marginally over the last 5 years, but remains below average for the countries analysed within the Scorecard. In terms of individual pillars, NI performs well in the business environment, quality of life and business performance elements of the Scorecard. In contrast, NI’s performs less well in terms of productivity, employment & labour supply and macro and fiscal sustainability elements. The Competitiveness Scorecard acts as a barometer of relative competitiveness, acts as a useful tool to direct policy-makers towards the key issues that require intervention and also provides an indication of the scale of the challenge facing NI.