ASEAN member Singapore overtook the United States as the world’s most
competitive economy, the annual rankings of Switzerland-based business
school IMD showed on May 28.
Singapore rose from the third spot last year to the first spot in 2019,
switching places with the United States which dropped from first in 2018
to third in 2019, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center, the
research centre which compiles the ranking.
Singapore is now ranked the world’s most competitive economy for the
first time since 2010, thanks to its advanced technological infrastructure,
the availability of skilled labour, favourable immigration laws, and efficient
ways to set up new businesses, according to the rankings.
The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, launched in 1989, ranks as
many as 235 indicators from each of the 63 counties and examines both
‘hard’ statistics such as economic growth and unemployment and ‘soft’
data such as surveys of perceived corruption and globalisation.
In this year’s ranking southern Asia and Asia Pacific economies
outperformed, with the Asia-Pacific region emerging “as a beacon for
competitiveness, with 11 out of 14 economies either improving or holding
their ground,” led by Singapore and Hong Kong at the top of the rankings.
ASEAN member Indonesia jumped eleven places to 32nd, for the region’s
biggest improvement in the rankings in 2019, thanks to increased
efficiency in the government sector and improved infrastructure and
business conditions. Indonesia has the lowest cost for labour across the
63 economies studied, according to the IMD World Competitiveness
Another ASEAN economy, Thailand, jumped five places to the 25th spot,
thanks to rising foreign direct investments (FDIs) and productivity, the
IMD World Competitiveness Center said.
Commenting on the rankings, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry,
Chan Chun Sing, said in a Facebook post: “We must leverage the brand of
trust and standards that we have become known for, and continue to be a
safe harbour for partnerships and collaboration.”