See More on Facebook

Singapore is world’s most competitive economy: World Economic Forum

The city-state beat the US to the top spot in the latest rankings of 141 economies.


Written by

Updated: October 9, 2019

Singapore is the world’s most competitive economy, according to an updated global league table.

It scored 84.8 points out of a possible 100.

The US, which topped the charts last year, scored 83.7.

“Singapore improves from an already high base,” the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday (Oct 9), adding that the country ranked first for infrastructure – one of the index’s 12 assessment pillars.

Singapore also was number one for two of the index’s other pillars – citizens’ healthy life expectancy years and labour markets.

Other high-scoring areas included the financial system, market efficiency and macroeconomic stability.

“Singapore ranks second for the quality of public institutions, behind Finland, but its performance is undermined by limited checks and balances,” the report said.

“Singapore notably ranks 124th on the Freedom of the Press Index – and lack of commitment to sustainability.”

The report added that Singapore will need to promote entrepreneurship and further improve its skills base to become a global innovation hub.

It also noted that the US performed better in domestic competition and trade openness last year.

“Despite an overall weaker performance this year, the US remains one of the most competitive economies in the world. It is still an innovation powerhouse, ranking second on the innovation capability pillar and first in terms of business dynamism… and home to one of the most dynamic financial systems in the world.”

Hong Kong rose four spots to third place.

The report said the territory ranks first on four pillars – macroeconomic stability, health, financial system and product market – the most of any economy.

“Hong Kong’s biggest weakness is undoubtedly its limited capability to innovate,” the report said, adding that the region also lags behind Singapore in worker protection.

The Netherlands and Switzerland round up the top five most competitive economies. The Netherlands jumped two spots to fourth place while Switzerland fell one to fifth.

The Global Competitiveness Report series was launched in 1979 to provide an annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e


By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

Lam was forced to deliver speech via video after protests. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures aimed at easing a housing shortage on Wednesday (Oct 16) as she battles to restore confidence in her administration and address widespread discontent after four months of mostly violent anti-government protests. Mrs Lam was forced to deliver her speech via video after her annual policy address in the Legislative Council was aborted when some lawmakers repeatedly jeered and shouted at her as she began speaking. After aborting her speech in the chamber tw


By The Straits Times
October 17, 2019

Xi, Modi chart course ahead for new era

Informal meeting in India designed to build mutual trust between neighbors.  China and India can create an even closer partnership in the new era, as the countries’ leaders have reset relations through an informal meeting over the weekend in the coastal city of Chennai in southern India, officials and experts said. President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of “overall, long-term and strategic” importance in their second informal meeting, Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told reporters after the meeting. Xi called for building up strategic mutual trust between the two neighboring countries and defusing their differences through communication. He said the only correct choice is for the “Chinese dragon” and “Indian elephant” to dance together in ways that


By China Daily
October 15, 2019

Typhoon Hagibis leaves 26 dead, 19 missing in Japan

The military has been mobilized to provide humanitarian relief. Powerful Typhoon No. 19 barreled north through the Kanto region, leaving behind record-setting rainfall in some areas and widespread damage from flooding, most notably from the overflowing of the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture on Saturday evening. Embankments along 21 rivers were breached and about 140 rivers flooded nationwide as of 6 p.m. Sunday. The typhoon, which made landfall on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture at about 7 p.m. Saturday, led to evacuation orders and advisories being issued to more than 10 million people, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Japan Meteorological Agency held an emergency press conference Saturday, urging citizens to “take action to protect their lives.” The agency said that in the 48-hour span up to 3 p.m. on Sunday, record rainfa


By The Japan News
October 14, 2019

Hong Kong: The Ironies of Democracy and Freedom

Democracy and freedom begin with self-discipline which, within law and order, protects your own rights as well as the rights of others, writes Andrew Sheng. There are two great ironies coming out of the current protests in Hong Kong. First, whilst the rest of the world’s youth are coming out in protest against government inaction on climate change, some of the Hong Kong youth have come out violently for the cause of democracy and freedom. The Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, in her passionate “How Dare You” speech, shamed the elderly leaders at the United Nations for failing to act decisively to deal with the global climate change damage to what the next generation will inherit.  She was concerned about global common concerns. Right on! Second, even as the Hong Kong youth wave the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes, these Western democracies are experiencing political crises borderi


By Asia News Network
October 11, 2019

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu resumes trade talks in Washington, President Trump to meet him today

US President Donald Trump said he would meet Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He at the White House on Friday. “Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the vice premier tomorrow at The White House,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, moments after Liu arrived at the headquarters of the Office of the United States Trade Representative for talks with USTR Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. China and the United States kicked off here on Thursday a new round of high-level consultations to address their differences on outstanding economic and trade issues. The Chinese delegation is led by


By China Daily
October 11, 2019