Hong Kong has been ranked No. 7 in global competitiveness by the World Economic Forum (WEF), unchanged from last year but well behind rival Singapore which took the No. 2 spot for the fourth straight year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.
Singapore trails Switzerland which remained No. 1 in the WEF Global Competitiveness Report for the sixth year in a row.
China edged up one notch to 28th, the highest among the so-called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Japan advanced to sixth from ninth, leapfrogging Hong Kong to become the second most competitive country in Asia.
The United States jumped two rungs to No. 3 and Britain climbed to No. 9 from tenth last year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Finland, Germany and Sweden.
The WEF attributed Hong Kong’s competitiveness to a well-developed infrastructure and transport network, as well as a highly efficient, reliable and stable financial market.
But Hong Kong slipped to 23rd in innovation from 19th last year.
China lost ground in the financial market category, falling to No. 54 due to a relatively weak banking sector that has made it difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises to get loans.
Also, the country has yet to show significant improvements in the areas of corruption, security, accountability and transparency, the report said.
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