While the world’s economy is facing downtrend and going through a bumpy ride, Singapore has been ranked as the world’s most competitive economy. As per an updated global league table, Singapore has beaten the top economies across the globe to become the most competitive economy. The Global Competitiveness Report series provides an annual assessment of long term economic growth and drivers of productivity.
Singapore beats the United States of America to emerge at the top spot in the ranking of 141 economies. The last time the country took the top spot in the rankings was in the year 1999. Singapore scored 84.8 out of 100 and secured the top spot. The US scored 83.7 in comparison to last year’s score of 85.6. The US lost the top spot due to uncertainties and effects of trade war
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As per the report, the performance of Hong Kong improved and it rose four spots to claim the third place. This report is prepared on the basis of responses received in the first quarter of the year i.e. before the political turmoil began in the country. The report appreciated Hong Kong’s macroeconomic stability and financial system. The Netherlands jumped two spots to fourth place and Switzerland fell by one place.
According to the statement from the World Economic Forum, “Singapore improves from an already high base. The country is ranked first for infrastructure – one of the index’s 12 assessment pillars.” The country is also ranked number one for two other index pillars; labour markets and citizen’s healthy life expectancy years.
The Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said that the top rankings of the country reflect the strong fundamentals of Singapore’s economy which keeps it ahead of its competitors. He also added that even after topping the rankings charts, the success shall not be taken for granted. He said that the country must persevere to remain ahead in the world that is full of economic uncertainties and equip the country’s workers with right set of skills to remain competitive.
According to the report, Singapore ranks third when it comes to skillsets for the current workforce and 28th when it comes to skills of the future workforce. When it comes to market efficiency, financial stability and financial system, the country scores really well. The report further stated that Singapore is behind only Finland when it comes to the quality of public institutions. The report said that the country lacks commitment to sustainability and ranks 124th on the Freedom of the Press Index.
The report highlighted that if Singapore aims to become a global innovation hub it needs to promote entrepreneurship. The country ranks 93rd when it comes to hiring foreign labour and it needs to be improved.
CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun gave a statement that the number one ranking in terms of world’s most competitive economy showcases the will power of the policymakers in Singapore who aim to make the country the most preferred place to do business. However, he further added that Singapore needs to learn to work with the constraints that surround it.
Mr. Song gave the example that a small population of 5.6 million in Singapore has attracted top technology companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc. to set up their offices in the country. But the local talent of the country may not provide them enough expertise which they require. This is the gap that needs to be filled between the current and future workforce through learning.
Lawrence Loh, National University of Singapore Business School’s Associate Professor said that Singapore is a global investment hub and it helped the economy get the top rank.
Another reason for the rise of Singapore as the most competitive economy is the slide in the performance of US. The report stated that “even after the weaker performance by US this year, it is still the most competitive economy of the world. US is still the top place for business dynamism and second in terms of innovation capability pillar”.
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