A new report ranks Colombia 37th in the world in terms of nations contributing to global prosperity and equality. Called the Good Country Index, the study is the authors’ attempt to find new ways, outside of GDP growth, to quantify what a nation contributes to the world.
Colombia’s ranking is hurt the most by its poor score on free trade, which measures “open trading performance compared to best practices,” such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC). In the IFC’s “distance to frontier” rankings, Colombia scores only 70.4 out of 100. Although this is an improvement on the 65.7 score it had in 2010 and the nation does rank well for the Latin American region, Colombia still lags behind Mexico and Chile.
On the positive side, Colombia is aided by its high foreign direct investment outflows. This, along with sending aid workers to United Nations projects around the world, helps to counteract the country poor score on free trade.
The organization’s prosperity and equality metric weighs several factors: foreign direct investment outflow, open trading across borders, Fairtrade market size, development contributions sent abroad, and the number of aid workers and volunteers stationed overseas.
In terms of the entire index — which also measures cultural, scientific, health, security, and environmental contributions — Colombia ranked as the 62nd best Good Country. Disturbingly, this represents a large drop off from the country’s ranking 31st-place finish in the first edition of the index.
Negative factors weighing on its score include the nation’s ongoing internal conflict, creation of refugees, poor freedom of the press, and a lack of patent generation. On the positive side of the ledger, Colombia scores well for its light ecological footprint, UN treaty participation, commitment to internet security, pharmaceutical exports, contributions to scientific journals, and Nobel prize winners.