ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong beats US but trails Singapore in world competitiveness rankings

The city had stellar scores in government and business efficiency.

Hong Kong trailed behind Singapore but ranked ahead of the US in IMD’s world competitiveness rankings as the city held firm to the second spot. “Hong Kong SAR held on to second place, helped by a benign tax and business policy environment and access to business finance,” the report said.

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies. The ranking takes into account a wide range of “hard” statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as “soft” data from an Executive Opinion Survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption.

Hong Kong was a top performer across two categories: government efficiency, wherein it ranked first; and business efficiency, in which it ranked second. Singapore aced the categories of economic performance and business efficiency and ranked fifth in both categories.

Eleven out of 14 economies in the Asia Pacific either improving or holding their ground, led by Singapore and Hong Kong SAR at the top of the global chart.

Indonesia leapt eleven places to 32nd, enjoying the region's biggest improvement, thanks to increased efficiency in the government sector as well as improvement in infrastructure and business conditions. It is characterized by the lowest cost for labor across the 63 economies studied, IMD said.

Thailand, driven by an increase in foreign direct investments and productivity, advanced five places to 25th position in 2019. Japan fell five places to 30th hampered by a sluggish economy, government debt and a weakening business environment.

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