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Singapore Is Asia’s 1st, World’s 2nd Most Globally Competitive Economy: WEC

The World Economic Forum (WEC) has ranked Singapore second in the world and first in Asia in its Global Competitiveness Index 2012-2013. The GCI ranks the world’s 144 economies according to economic competitiveness, using a points system of 1 to 7, with 7 as the highest.

Singapore retained its spot in the top two since GCI 2011-2012, with a current score of 5.67, and is the only Southeast Asian nation to make it to the top 20 (the next Southeast Asian nation is Malaysia at the 25th spot). Switzerland retained its top spot for the fourth straight year with a score of 5.72.

All other countries that occupied the top 10 spots last year made it to this year’s top ranks save for Denmark, which slipped four places from 8th to 12th. Two other Asian nations, Hong Kong and Japan, made it to the top 10. Hong Kong SAR went up two notches from 11th to 9th, while Japan dipped by one spot, from ninth to tenth this year. Others who slipped were Sweden (from third to fourth) and the United States (from fifth to seventh). Finland gained one notch, from fourth to third, while the Netherlands went up two spots, from seventh to fifth. Unchanged is Germany at sixth.

The GCI is recognised as the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness in the world. According to the report, Singapore’s “public and private institutions are rated as the best in the world for the fifth year in a row.” Aside from this, Singapore ranks first for the labour market and goods efficiency, and second for financial market development. The report also ranked its infrastructure second in the world, “with excellent roads, ports, and air transport facilities.”

It also highlighted Singapore’s strong focus on education, which it said contributed to a steady improvement in higher education and training, “thus providing individuals with the skills needed for a rapidly changing global economy.” The Southeast Asian nation ranked second in education development.