S’pore most competitive economy in Asia

Singapore, September 26 :

Singapore is the most competitive economy in Asia and the fifth globally, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its 2006 ranking of competitive economies released on Tuesday.

The tiny city-state was the only Asian economy along with Japan within the top 10 of the 125 economies surveyed worldwide by the Geneva-based thinktank.

Japan was ranked seventh behind the United States, which fell to sixth place from its number one ranking last year, the WEF said.

Hong Kong was in 11th place and Taiwan was number 13, as Asia’s so-called tiger economies kept their high rankings.

Hong Kong improved from 14th place in 2005, while Taiwan fell from eighth place.

“Asia is home to some of the most as well as some of the least competitive economies in our rankings,” said WEF chief economist Augusto Lopez-Claros. “Singapore leads the pack, ranked fifth overall, followed by Japan in seventh place, with Hong Kong in 11th and Taiwan in 13th place, respectively.

“These economies all have high quality infrastructure, flexible and efficient markets, and healthy, well-educated work forces.

They are also operating on the outer boundaries of the technology frontier, both at the firm and consumer level,” he said.

The rankings were based on a survey of more than 11,000 business leaders in 125 economies worldwide and also included macroeconomic factors, innovation and use of technology, plus the quality of public institutions.