The Italian economy is less competitive on world markets than last year, according to the annual Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum. This year Italy is placed 41 on a list of 102 countries, eight places lower than in 2002. Two European countries, Luxembourg and Malta, have moved higher than Italy as well as six others, Thailand, Jordan, Botswana, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. Bureaucratic inefficiency, inadequate infrastructure, restrictive labour legislation, high interest rates and difficulty in obtaining financing are all factors which account for Italys loss of competitiveness, according to the report. The report assesses competitiveness according to overall propects for economic growth and for business efficiency.

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