Date
12 December 2018
Switzerland has topped the IMD World Talent Ranking for the fifth consecutive year, while Hong Kong has seen its position drop to No. 18. Photo: IMD
Switzerland has topped the IMD World Talent Ranking for the fifth consecutive year, while Hong Kong has seen its position drop to No. 18. Photo: IMD

Hong Kong needs to reflect on its drop in global talent ranking

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) published last week its 2018 World Talent Ranking report.

Switzerland ranks number one, confirming its role as an important global talent hub.

The top ten countries are all from Western Europe, with Denmark, Norway, Austria and the Netherlands in the top five. Canada, number six, is the only non-European nation in the top 10.

Among Asian countries, Singapore gets the highest ranking of 13th. Hong Kong dropped from 6th to 18th place this year. Taiwan is in the 27th place while China ranks the 39th.

The rankings assess the nations’ performance in developing, attracting and retaining talent, based on three factors: Investment and Development, Appeal, and Readiness. In specific, areas rated include education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.

Switzerland, which tops the chart for the fifth consecutive year, has put great emphasis on technical training and talent education in recent years. Other high-ranking countries have also poured a lot of resources into public education and talent training.

Singapore has seen a big improvement in its rankings. Many global tech firms like Facebook and Google have picked Singapore as their Asian headquarters, hiring tech talents and building data centers there.

UK home appliance brand Dyson announced in October that it picked Singapore as the location for an electric vehicle factory.

As for Hong Kong, authorities here have been talking to leading corporates for years but not finding enough new success in luring firms into setting up facilities or regional operational bases in the city.

In fact, the city has seen many of its global competitiveness rankings drop in recent years.

Is the government giving a serious thought as to what has gone wrong, and what needs to be done to revive the city’s global competitiveness?

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 28

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman

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