Hong Kong remained in the seventh place for third consecutive year in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings.
Switzerland and Singapore took the top two spots in the overall Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) rankings, with the US in the third place.
However, Hong Kong was in the lead when it comes to infrastructure, according to the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015–2016, which assessed 140 economies around the world.
But in financial market development, the city has lost its top spot, falling to No. 3, as New Zealand and Singapore were placed ahead.
In fact, Hong Kong has been losing to its arch rival Singapore in the overall GCI rankings for five years in a row.
According to the WEF report, Germany was the fourth most competitive economy in the world, followed by Netherlands and Japan in the 5th and 6th places.
Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom were ranked No. 8, 9 and 10 respectively.
The WEF report calculates the level of competitiveness of economies based on three sub-indexes and a total of 12 “pillars” (in brackets) — namely basic requirements (institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education), efficiency enhancers (higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size), and Innovation and sophistication factors (business sophistication, and innovation).
Hong Kong was ranked third in both basic requirements and efficiency enhancers, while the categories of health and primary education (29th) and market size (32th) were the worst in the two sub-indexes.
Identified as “Innovation-driven” in the stage of development, Hong Kong’s Innovation and sophistication factors are disappointing, ranking only at No. 23 among 38 economies. The poor ranking was a result of relatively low ratings in business sophistication (16th) and innovation (27th) categories.
The WEF report also highlighted China’s performance.
Though China’s rank was unchanged from last year, at 28, its overall performance has barely budged in the past six years.
The report pointed out major challenges faced by China such as rising production costs, an aging population, and diminishing returns on the massive capital investments of the past three decades.
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