US dips in competitiveness index as Singapore takes top spot

Andrew Cummings
October 9, 2019

According to the World Economic Forum's flagship Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore has taken over the No. 1 spot from the US. The report suggests that the slowdown in the Indian economy has a negative effect on the country's global rankings.

Apart from having high-quality road infrastructure and efficient air and sea connectivity, Singapore also stood out in terms of its high life expectancy and labour market, and scored highly in worker protection.

Although the study also suggests that information, communication and technology adoption in India has been weak, India punches above its development status when it comes to innovation. It ranked 64th out of 141 economies from 56th in 2018.

The Netherlands, which has risen two places in the global list, is now fourth overall, behind Singapore, the USA and Hong Kong and ahead of Switzerland.

The Netherlands finished fourth - up two slots from past year - while Switzerland came in fifth place.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said, "The Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 provides a compass for thriving in the new economy where innovation becomes the key factor of competitiveness".

The report also noted the country's edge in human capital, highlighting the good skills sets of graduates as well as the digital abilities of the population, as it maintained its rank at 67th.

The Forum, organisers of the glitzy annual gathering of business and political elite in Davos, on Tuesday released the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual competitiveness report since 1979, that assesses which economies are well placed to see productivity and long-term growth.

The presence of many competitive countries in Asia-Pacific makes this region the most competitive in the world, followed closely by Europe and North America.

The forum focused its report on continued low productivity growth a decade after the financial crisis, calling this the $10 trillion question - the amount injected by the world's four major central banks through 2017. The country leapfrogged the United States from second to first, as it had benefitted "from global trade tensions through trade diversion", as had Vietnam, which the WEF found was the most improved country in its rankings. That conclusion was reached by measuring the level of inflation and the sustainability of fiscal policy, according to the report.

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