Singapore has been ranked top out of 63 countries in terms of business competitiveness, over-taking Hong Kong and United States. According to a Switzerland-based research group, Singapore’s technological infrastructure, skilled labour, migration policies and ease of setting up new businesses contributed to its ranking.
Other countries in Asia that did well include Hong Kong (2nd), China (14th) and Malaysia (22nd). Notably, Indonesia had the largest improvement amongst Asian countries, jumping 11 spots to 32nd place. Meanwhile, Japan fell behind five spots to 30th. Overall, Asian economies performed well while countries in Europe fared poorer, due to economic uncertainties.
In descending order of popularity, what made Singapore an attractive economy to mid- and upper-level managers of businesses here were:
- Policy stability and predictability
- Effective legal environment
- Business-friendly environment
- Competitive tax regime
- Reliable infrastructure
It also highlighted three areas that Singapore could improve on;
- Equipping workers with skills to thrive in technology-intensive environments
- Create deeper local and international partnerships to develop industry-wide capabilities.
- Deepening enterprise capabilities to enable firms to scale up, harness technology and capture opportunities
Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, commented that, as a small and open economy, Singapore has to focus on leveraging on its quality, connectivity and creativity to attract international businesses. Doing so, Singapore will be able to survive the tensions during times of trade and protectionist sentiments.
In other rankings, Singapore was named as the best place in the world for children as well as ranked 23rd on the quality of life. Singapore has maintained the former title for two years consecutively, attributed to it experiencing the lowest “childhood enders” such as death, severe malnutrition, dropping out of school and early entry into adulthood.
In a separate survey released by Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore was ranked 23rd out of 56 cities for its quality of life. This is an improvement of 3 places from last year. The study took into consideration factors such as prices of goods and services, crimes rates, income, affordability of housing and transportation and purchasing power. Zurich, Switzerland was ranked top in the survey.
In terms of average income, Singapore ranked 11th with US$2,900, while San Francisco came in 1st at US$6,526. Singapore was also ranked 11th for housing affordability.