Singapore just dethroned the US as the world’s most competitive economy – here’s what put it at #1

This year’s World Competitiveness Ranking is also the first time Singapore has made it to the top since 2010.

It’s not easy for a tiny red dot to play in the same league as the world’s biggest players, but Singapore has managed to stay in the game.

In fact, the city-state has just been named the most competitive economy in the world, dethroning former #1 US, which is now ranked third. Hong Kong sits in between the two in second spot.

Released on Wednesday (May 28) by Swiss business school IMD, this year’s World Competitiveness Ranking is also the first time Singapore has made it to the top since 2010.

Rankings were decided by incorporating 235 indicators from all 63 ranked economies, including “hard” statistics such as unemployment, gross domestic product (GDP), and government expenditure on health and education, IMD said.

“Soft” data taken into account include executive opinion surveys, which covered topics like social cohesion, globalization and corruption.

The information was then used to score countries against four categories – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.

The report ranked Singapore third place in the world for government efficiency, behind Hong Kong and UAE.

Singapore also ranked fifth in the categories of economic performance and innovative businesses.

While it was not one of the top five countries for effective infrastructure, it’s top placing was driven by “advanced technological infrastructure, the availability of skilled labor, favorable immigration laws, and efficient ways to set up new businesses,” IMD said.

Asian countries ranked best overall

Describing the Asia-Pacific region as a “beacon for competitiveness”, IMD said 11 out of 14 Asian countries on the list either improved or held their ground.

With Singapore and Hong Kong leading in first and second place, China, Taiwan, and Malaysia were not far behind in the 13th, 17th and 22nd spots respectively.

Indonesia (32nd) improved by a whopping 11 places from its 2018 ranking, while the Philippines moved up four places to take 50th place.

In contrast, competitiveness in Europe economies “struggled to gain ground” as most of them either ranked the same, or even lower than they did last year.

The United Kingdom fell three spots to 23rd place this year, due to ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, IMD said.


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