Geneva–The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Sunday ranked India at the 30th position on a global manufacturing index, five places below China, but higher than the other BRICS members Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Releasing its Global Manufacturing Index here on Sunday, WEF said Japan topped the rankings in its “Readiness for the future of production report” on the basis of developing the best structure of production.

Japan is followed by South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, the US, Sweden, Austria and Ireland in the top 10.

While China figures among the WEF’s “leading countries”, India has been placed in the “Legacy” group along with Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Turkey, among others, and Brazil as well as South Africa are among the “nascent” ones.

The report notes that the 25 countries placed in the “leading” category were in the best position to gain as production systems stand on the brink of exponential change.

Regarding India, which had a total manufacturing value of over $420 billion in 2016, the report said that its manufacturing sector has grown by over 7 per cent per annum on average in the past three decades and accounts for 16-20 per cent of India’s GDP.

“Home to the second-largest population in the world and one of the fastest growing economies, the demand for Indian manufactured products is rising. India has room for improvement across the drivers of production, except for demand environment where it ranks in the top 5,” the WEF said.

The report also referred to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s Make in India programme to turn the country into a manufacturing hub, and the move towards a more connected economy with the announcement of infrastructure investment of $59 billion in 2017.

Modi is slated to address the inaugural plenary session of the WEF at Davos on January 23, marking the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the prestigious global business meet since 1997. He is to be followed by an impressive array of Indian ministers who will take part in various group sessions.

According to observers, Modi’s first visit to WEF is an opportunity to interact with foreign investors following the implementation of the major structural reform of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), as well as the demonetisation measure of November 2016. (IANS)