Singapore outperformed 63 world economies in the 2019 World Competitive Ranking and was crowned the most competitive economy for the first time since 2010, surpassing Hong Kong and the United States.
The ranking was released Tuesday by the IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland. Advanced technological infrastructure, the availability of skilled labor, favorable immigration laws and efficient ways to set up new businesses all contributed to Singapore rising from the third place last year to No 1, based on the ranking.
Hong Kong remained in the second spot this year, thanks to a benign environment for tax and business policies and access to business finance, said the ranking, while the Chinese mainland took the 14th place.
The US slipped from the top spot to the third, dragged by higher fuel prices, weaker high-tech exports and fluctuations in the value of the dollar. And the initial boost of confidence from the first wave of tax policies appears to have faded in the economy, the ranking noted.
Based on 235 indicators from each of the ranked economies, the ranking measures aspects such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, and collects data from an executive opinion survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption.
This information was categorized into four areas – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency – to yield a final score for every country.
Eleven out of 14 economies in the Asia-Pacific region either improved or held their ground in terms of competitiveness this year, with Indonesia jumping 11 places to 32nd place and Thailand advancing five places to 25th.