Singapore emerged as the most competitive economy in the world – beating US – as it scored 84.8 points in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2019 Global Competitiveness Index, reported Singapore Business Review.
This comes as the city-state ranked first in terms of financial system development, infrastructure and labour market functioning. It also received full marks (100) for health, while getting a near-perfect score for macroeconomic stability at 99.7.
While the country’s score in every pillar is four to 19 points higher compared to the OECD average, WEF said Singapore can still improve its innovation as its score fell 15 points shy of the ideal score for innovation capability.
“In order to become a global innovation hub, Singapore will need to promote entrepreneurship and further improve its skills base,” said the WEF report.
The city-state also scored 80.4 for the quality of public institutions, placing it second to Finland. However, limited checks and balances undermined Singapore’s performance.
WEF ranked Singapore 124th on the Freedom of the Press Index, and gave it a score of 63.5 for the country’s lack of commitment to sustainability.
Meanwhile, US took the second spot as it shed two points to 83.7. But while its ranking declined, the country continued to be an innovation powerhouse as it ranked first in business dynamism and second for innovation capability.
Jumping four places from last year, Hong Kong was ranked third with a score of 83.1. The Netherlands came in fourth, followed by Switzerland and Japan.
WEF identified East Asia and the Pacific as the world’s most competitive region, followed by Europe and North America.
However, it noted that the region is also home to countries with significant competitiveness deficits like Cambodia and Laos, which were ranked 106th and 113th, respectively.