US slips from competitive top rank, HK clings to second rung

Local | 29 May 2019 12:53 pm

Hong Kong has once again been recognized for its global competitiveness, ranking second globally behind Sngapore in the  World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019, published by the International Institute for Management Development.

Singapore toppled the US at the top of the rankings. Singapore also ranked below Hong Kong in government efficency and business efficiency.

The US ranked first for economic performance.

Mainland China dropped one place to 13th in the overall rankings. Japan fell five places to 30th hampered by a sluggish economy, government debt and a weakening business environment.

Hong Kong held on to second place, helped by a benign tax and business policy environment and access to business finance, the IMD said.

The initial boost to confidence from US President Donald Trump’s first wave of tax policies appears to have faded in the United States, according to the ranking, the IMD reports observes. While still setting the pace globally for levels of infrastructure and economic performance, the competitiveness of the world’s biggest economy was hit by higher fuel prices, weaker hi-tech exports and fluctuations in the value of the dollar.

Based on four competitiveness factors, Hong Kong maintained the top rank in “government efficiency,” and rated second in “business efficiency” and 10th in “economic performance.''

Benefiting from the government’s increased investment in areas such as infrastructure and innovation and technology, as well as education, Hong Kong’s ranking edged up to 22nd in “Infrastructure.''

Economists regard competitiveness as vital for the long-term health of a country’s economy as it empowers businesses to achieve sustainable growth, generate jobs and, ultimately, enhance the welfare of citizens.

The United Kingdom fell from 20th to 23rd.

Venezuela remains at the bottom of the ranking, hit by inflation, poor access to credit and a weak economy. -The Standard


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