Singapore is the third most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness ranking published on Thursday. The city-state was also placed third in 2009.
But within Asia, Singapore is still the most competitive economy. Japan is in 6th place while Hong Kong 11th.
Singapore won points for its lack of corruption and for the efficiency of its government.
Meanwhile the US slipped two places to fourth, a year after losing the number one position for the first time since the Geneva-based organization began its current index in 2004.
A budget shortfall of more than US$1 trillion and public distrust of politicians were among the weaknesses in the world’s largest economy.
The WEF study also found that a lack of macroeconomic stability continued to be the US’ greatest area of weakness.
Switzerland, home to companies including drug maker Novartis and food company Nestle, retained the top spot.
It was credited for its innovation and business culture.
Sweden was ranked second, up from the fourth spot last year.
The WEF credited Sweden for its transportation and high level of ethical behaviour.
Germany, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada rounded out the top 10, the composition of which was unchanged from last year.
China moved up two places in the rankings to 27th.
WEF said China continued to lead the way among large developing economies and solidify its place among the top 30 economies.
Among the three other BRIC economies, Brazil (58th), India (51st) and Russia (63rd) remained stable.
Several Asian economies performed strongly, with Japan (6th) and Hong Kong (11th) also in the top 20.
In Latin America, Chile (30th) is the highest ranked country, followed by Panama (53rd) Costa Rica (56th) and Brazil.
The study polled over 13,500 business leaders in 139 economies.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Sep 2010