A new World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking for the most competitive and innovative economies ranked Singapore in second place worldwide, just behind the United States. A total of 140 nations were reviewed by the WEF for its annual Global Competitiveness Report.
The Global Competitiveness Report put the United States in first place, with Singapore and Germany in the second and third spots respectively, out of the 140 nations reviewed. Switzerland, which has held the top spot for nearly a decade, was bumped down to fourth place after the WEF changed its methodology for the study to one that reflects the shifts in a world that is constantly transformed by new, digital technologies.
The 2018 report used 98 indicators to judge how nation’s economies have performed. The indicators were organized into 12 pillars – institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.
The report aimed to offer each economy a level playing field in which to define and track its growth path, focusing on the need for economies to be holistic in their approach to competitiveness rather than focusing on a particular indicator alone.
In measuring the competitiveness of an economy, the report noted that a strong performance in one pillar cannot make up for a weak performance in another.
“In order to increase competitiveness, no area can be neglected,” read the summary.
The United States scored an average of 85.6 points out of 100 on the measurement of all 98 indicators. Singapore was next at 83.5 and then Germany at 82.8.
In second place, Singapore scored 83.5 points overall. The report stated that Singapore’s performance was excellent in the areas of infrastructure and product market, which city-state topped globally. Singapore also tied with Japan, Spain and Hong Kong for having the best healthcare.
Former global competitiveness leader Switzerland garnered 82.6 points, after nine years at the top of the WEF ranking.
The report showed that on average, nations around the world scored 60 points out of 100, 100 being what WEF considers the prime conditions for a competitive and innovative economy.
WEF founder Klaus Schwab cited understanding and openness to new technologies as fundamental to a country’s competitiveness.
“I foresee a new global divide between countries who understand innovative transformations and those that don’t,” said Schwab.
Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF’s managing board, said that beyond technology, nations must invest in “people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology”.
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