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Singapore budget 2015

Singapore still a competitive nation

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Singapore is the world’s second most competitive economy again this year, with Switzerland retaining its position at the top, and Finland rounding off the top three.

According to the latest Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum, Singapore was the only economy to be featured within the top three of seven of the 12 competitiveness categories, and in the top 10 in two others.

The report revealed Singapore’s strongest pillars of competitiveness were goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency and financial market development. The city state’s strong performance this year could also be attributed to its world-class infrastructure, excellent roads, ports and air transport facilities.

“Singapore’s competitiveness is further enhanced by its strong focus on education, which has translated into a steady improvement of its ranking in the higher education and training pillar,” the report said.

However, despite Singapore’s private sector “becoming increasingly sophisticated and more innovative”, there is still room for improvement in both sectors, which the report noted “are the keys to Singapore’s future prosperity”.

Globally, Switzerland managed to hold on to its first place ranking, thanks to its efficient innovation and labour market. The US also has much to be proud of after rising to fifth place following a four-year declining trend.

“While the [US] economy is getting back on track, the deleveraging process in the banking sector continues to show positive effects on the stability and efficiency of the country’s financial markets,” the report said.

Other countries showing improvement include Germany, which rose two places to fourth place this year, and Japan, which found itself in ninth place.

Economies that didn’t fare too well include the UK, which slipped two notches to 10th position; France, which dropped from 23rd to 21st, and Brazil, which fell eight slots to 56th.

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