Singapore has been ranked as the world’s most competitive economy for the first time since 2010, in a yearly ranking of 63 countries by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, a research group based in Switzerland. The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators across four categories – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency. Indicators include a wide range of “hard” statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as “soft” data from an Executive Opinion Survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption.
Reasons for Singapore’s ascension from third to first included its advanced technological infrastructure, favorable immigration laws, skilled labor availability and ease and efficiency of setting up new businesses. The country ranked in the top five in economic performance, government efficiency and business efficiency, and came in sixth for infrastructure.
Hong Kong held on to its second position and the United States slipped by two positions to third. The US tumble down the rankings was linked to higher fuel prices, weaker high-tech exports and fluctuations in the US dollar. Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates were the last two countries rounding out the top 5.
The Asia-Pacific region performed well in the rankings, with 11 out of 14 economies either moving up rankings or remaining in their position. Indonesia saw the region’s biggest improvement due to enhancements in infrastructure and business conditions, moving up 11 places to 32nd. Thailand moved up five places because of an increased in FDI and productivity.
(Source: IMD; Channel News Asia)