27 October 2016
Hong Kong moves ahead of Singapore and Switzerland from last year's fourth place in the 2015 IMD report. Photo: AFP
Hong Kong moves ahead of Singapore and Switzerland from last year's fourth place in the 2015 IMD report. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong ranked second most competitive economy behind US

Hong Kong has moved ahead of Singapore and Switzerland to be named the world’s second most competitive economy, next only to the United States, in the latest ranking by the prestigious Swiss business school International Institute for Management Development.

The ranking, conducted by the Lausanne-based IMD World Competitiveness Center, saw Hong Kong move up from last year’s fourth place. Singapore remained at third place, while Switzerland declined two steps to No. 4.

Mainland China moved up one rung to No. 22 among 61 economies around the world that were assessed in the IMD report. 

Hong Kong attained the highest rankings in government efficiency and business efficiency, two of four factors assessed in the report. The other two are economic performance and infrastructure.

Financial Secretary John Tsang welcomed the report, saying “this once again affirms the importance of our steadfast fiscal discipline, robust financial system, and favorable business environment”.

“We will continue to consolidate Hong Kong’s institutional strengths and broaden the economic base on various fronts, and will strive to uphold our leading position as a key metropolitan city in the world,” Tsang said in a government statement.

In the latest ranking in government efficiency, Hong Kong moved to the top from second place last year, while moving two steps to first place in business efficiency. Its ranking in infrastructure climbed six places to the 15th.

“However, as a highly open economy, Hong Kong’s economic growth slackened amid the unsteady global economic performance last year, resulting in a slight drop in the ranking in economic performance from the seventh to the ninth,” the government statement said.

Completing the top 10 in the 2015 World Competitiveness Ranking are Canada, fifth; Luxembourg, sixth from No. 11 last year; Norway, seventh, Denmark, eighth; Sweden, ninth; and Germany, tenth.

The US remained at the top of the ranking as a result of its strong business efficiency and financial sector, its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure, the IMD said.

Results for Asia are mixed. Those who moved down were Malaysia (12 to 14), Japan (21 to 27), Thailand (29 to 30) and Indonesia (37 to 42), while Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines slightly rose.

Most Asian economies in decline saw  a drop in their domestic economies and were affected by weakening or aging infrastructure, the IMD said.

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