Singapore retained its spot as the second most competitive economy in the world for the fifth consecutive time, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The survey ranked 140 economies. Similar to last year’s results, the top 10 list is heavily dominated by European countries. Switzerland still leads the ranks while the United States remained at the third spot. Other countries on the list include Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland which dropped four spots, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Since 2004, the WEF has been releasing an annual Global Economic Competitiveness Report that measures the competitiveness of an economy based on the Global Competitiveness Indication (GCI). The report explained how the measurement through the GCI works: “The GCI combines 114 indicators that capture concepts that matter for productivity. These indicators are grouped into 12 pillars: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation. These are in turn organized into three subindexes, in line with three main stages of development: basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and innovation and sophistication factors.”
Based on the survey, Singapore outranked all Asian economies and was included in the top 10 in nine out of the twelve categories with its particular strengths in the quality of its labour markets, higher education, transparency of institutions, infrastructure, overall efficiency, and macroeconomic stability.
Singapore performed exceptionally well in terms of market efficiency. “Singapore remains the best performer when it comes to the overall efficiency of markets, and one of the two economies—together with Hong Kong SAR—ranking in the top three in goods, labor, and financial market efficiency”, the report added. However, the number of women who are part of the Singapore workforce is still relatively low compared to other countries.
In terms of infrastructure, there is no surprise why the air transport in Singapore is at the top spot as Changi Airport continuously and consistently being named as the best airport in the world. The availability of airline seats kilometers, on the other hand, is at the 29th spot. The quality of other infrastructure from roads to railroads to ports and electricity supply are all within the top ten ranking.
The quality of education system remained high. According to the report, “With the best higher education and training system in the world, Singapore is well placed to increase technological adoption, business sophistication, and innovation.”