Much of what outsiders know of Singapore is its fast-paced lifestyle, no-nonsense policies, and a digitally strong business environment, which creates significant labour opportunities not only in the region, but also for the rest of the world. Singapore has strategically positioned itself on the global map for its conduciveness to businesses, and open-trade policies that support foreign partnerships that ultimately contribute to its economic advancement.
To an extent, some people even complain that living in Singapore can be tedious because of the ‘all work and no play’ approach of its residents to everyday living. However, much as this displeases onlookers, Singapore has slowly built its credibility and reputation to achieve a feat that none of its regional rivals have ever received.
Singapore Rises to Top of Global Competitiveness
Recently, Singapore leapfrogged Hong Kong and the US to claim the top spot among the world’s most competitive economies for the first time in nine years, as shared in a report by Bloomberg.
The city state’s advanced technological infrastructure, availability of skilled workers, favourable immigration laws, and efficiency for starting businesses fuelled its bid to claim the no. 1 spot in terms of global competitiveness, based on the annual rankings of the Switzerland-based IMD Business School.
Singapore climbed two places to become the world’s most competitive economy, followed by Hong Kong, which continued to hold second position this year, and the United States, which was relegated two spots this year to 3rd.
The annual ranking report, which began in in 1989, evaluates 63 economies based on 235 indicators. The economies were assessed in four categories including economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency, and business efficiency.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s closest contender in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, placed first in “government efficiency,” second in “business efficiency,” and 10th in “economic performance.”
While still setting the pace globally for levels of infrastructure and economic performance, the competitiveness of the world’s biggest economy was also affected by higher fuel prices, weaker hi-tech exports, and fluctuations in the value of the dollar, the report noted.
Economists regard competitiveness as a vital indicator for the long-term health of a country’s economy, as it empowers businesses to achieve sustainable growth, generate jobs and, ultimately, enhance the welfare of citizens.
Based on the report, 2019’s biggest climber was Saudi Arabia, which jumped 13 places to 26th, whereas Venezuela remained at the bottom of the rankings, mainly for its ballooning inflation, poor access to credit, as well as a weak economy.
The countries which landed on the top 10 out of the 64 economies covered are: Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, the USA, Switzerland, the UAE (up from 15th in 2016), the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Qatar.