Among BRICS nations, Russia is ranked 35th, Brazil 41st and South Africa at 45th place.
The report, which analyses development of modern industrial strategies and urges collaborative action, has categorised 100 countries into four groups - Leading (strong current base, high level of readiness for future); High Potential (limited current base, high potential for future); Legacy (strong current base, at risk for future); or Nascent (limited current base, low level of readiness for future).
India has been placed in the 'Legacy' group along with Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Turkey, among others. China figures among 'leading countries', while Brazil and South Africa are in 'nascent' ones.
The 25 'leading' countries are in the best position to gain as production systems stand on the brink of exponential change, the WEF said in the report published ahead of its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland later this month.
About India, the 5th-largest manufacturer in the world with a total manufacturing value added of over $420 billion in 2016, the WEF said the country's manufacturing sector has grown by over 7 per cent per year 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 is ranks in the top 5," the WEF said.
It also took note of the government's 'Make in India' initiative to make the country a global manufacturing hub and of "a significant push" to improve key enablers and move towards a more connected economy with announcement of a $59 billion investment in infrastructure in 2017.
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