Singapore just beat Germany to join IMD list of top 10 most talent competitive economies for the first time

Singapore was the only Asian country in the top 10, and was ranked first place in the readiness category.
The Straits Times

Singapore might be small, but its competitiveness lets it stay in the same league as the world’s biggest players.

Now, for the first time, the tiny Republic has made the top 10 in a list of the most competitive places for talent by Swiss business school IMD.

Rising three spots from last year, the Republic was also the only Asian country that made the top 10.

Germany, which was in 10th place last year, now sits in 11th spot.

European countries dominated the list, with countries like Switzerland (#1) and Denmark (#2) leading the ranking for the seventh year in a row. Sweden joined the top three this year, advancing five positions from last year’s ranking.

IMD said its list is based on a study of 63 economies globally and evaluates the extent to which economies develop, attract and retain highly-skilled professionals.

Economies are evaluated across three factors – investment and development, appeal, and readiness.

“Investment and development” measures indicators such as total public expenditure on education, employee training and health infrastructure, while “appeal” looks into indicators like cost of living and worker motivation. “Readiness” measures the availability of skills and competencies in the talent pool such as language skills and international experience.

This information is then used to aggregate the scores of each factor, which function as the basis for overall ranking.

Singapore ranked first worldwide for readiness

The report ranked Singapore first in the world for readiness with a score of 96.85, more than 11 points ahead of Switzerland’s 85.34.

The school cited Singapore’s top ranking on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is an international benchmarking test that measures how well students solve real-world problems using their knowledge.

It also scored for having an effective primary and secondary education, as well as having the second-highest percentage of graduates in sciences.

However, Singapore did not do as well in the other categories, ranking 20th and 25th for appeal and investment and development respectively. Under these categories, Singapore was pulled down in areas such as percentage of women in the labour force and levels of pollution.

Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, said that most leading economies “emphasise long-term talent development by focusing on investment and development”.

This emphasis, however, goes beyond purely academic aspects to encompass the effective implementation of apprenticeships and employee training. Such an approach ensures a consistent alignment between talent demand and supply,” he added.

Here is the IMD World Talent ranking:


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