ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong falls to second place as world's most competitive economy

Its ranking in infrastructure slipped to 23rd place.

Hong Kong has ceded the top spot as the world’s most competitive economy to the US after settling for second place in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018 by the International Institute for Management Development's (IMD).

Although the Asian financial hub scored top marks in government and business efficiency, Hong Kong’s infrastructure ranking dropped from 20th to 23rd whilst the US picked up slack and snagged the first place in that segment alongside economic performance, buoying it three places to the crown.

"Amidst the fierce competition from other economies, it is of utmost importance for us to consolidate Hong Kong's competitive edges, including the fine tradition of the rule of law, an open and free market, an efficient public sector, and a robust institutional framework,” a government spokesperson said in a press release.

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"In addition, following the shift in global economic gravity from West to East, China and Asia will continue to be the key driver of the global economy. Hong Kong can play a unique role in the National 13th Five-Year Plan, the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development. These major initiatives will provide new and continuous impetus for Hong Kong's economy," the spokesperson added. 

Singapore snagged the third place whilst Netherlands and Switzerland round up the top five. The remaining places in the top ten are occupied largely by Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden rank 6th, 8th and 9th respectively amidst strong performance in private sector productivity. The UAE (7th) and Canada (10th) complete the top ten.

Asia-Pacific displayed mixed results as Australia (19th), Japan (25th), Republic of Korea (27th), Malaysia (22nd) and India (44th) witnessed slight improvements whilst Taiwan (17th), New Zealand (23rd), Thailand (30th), Indonesia (43rd), and the Philippines (50th) dropped.

The bottom five countries include Ukraine, Brazil, Croatia, Mongolia and Venezuela.

The WCY released the IMD assessing 63 economies on four competitiveness factors "Economic performance", "Government efficiency", "Business efficiency" and "Infrastructure", each consisting of five sub-factors.

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