Overachieving Singapore tops global competitiveness index
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Overachieving Singapore tops global competitiveness index

HAVING been named the best city of the future just recently, Singapore has been named among the most competitive countries on the planet by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Its annual Global Competitiveness Index for 2017-18 ranks the Southeast Asian city-state third in the world, just under Switzerland and the United States. Incidentally, the WEF is based in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The annual Index assesses the “competitiveness landscape” of 137 economies across the world.

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While Singapore’s score decreased slightly which saw it slide below United States, it remains the most competitive economy in the region due to its “excellent performance across the board” – particularly in the Higher education and training and Goods market efficiency pillars of the Index.

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A woman shops for clothes at a textile market in Jakarta, Indonesia February 27, 2017. Picture taken February 27, 2017. Source: Reuters/Fatima Elkarim

Regional neighbours Indonesia (36th) and Brunei Darussalam (46th) saw the most significant improvements in their competitiveness scores. Hong Kong, meanwhile, was ranked sixth behind Germany and ahead of Sweden, while Japan came in at number nine.

“Hong Kong is still endowed with the world’s best physical infrastructure and its healthy level of competition and openness ensure extremely efficient markets,” reads the report.

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According to the WEF, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos and Mongolia “could all make large gains in competitiveness at a relatively lower cost by improving their performance on infrastructure, health, and education.”

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, New Zealand was ranked 13th ahead of Taiwan in 15th place. Australia was ranked 21st, Malaysia 23rd and Asian economic giant China was 27th.

“Even with China’s gradual slowdown, economic growth has continued to be robust in the region as a result of sustained domestic demand and increased exports from emerging economies,” said the WEF in its report.