HK down in world competitiveness, lax governance blamed

May 21, 2014 07:57
For the first time in 10 years, Hong Kong is out of the top three in a global competitiveness survey. Photo: Bloomberg

Hong Kong has fallen from the top three of a global competitiveness ranking behind perennial rival Singapore.

It's the first time in 10 years Hong Kong has ended up lower than third place, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook published by IMD business school in Switzerland. Singapore has taken its place, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

The yearbook ranks the competitiveness of 60 economies based on four criteria -- economic performance, government efficiency, corporate efficiency and infrastructure.

Economic performance was the only indicator in which Hong Kong improved -- it went up one notch to seventh. It ranked second in government efficiency but was down in the other sub-indices, the report said.

Hong Kong fell to 25th place from 18th in government decision-making and 21st from 13th in policy agility. It slipped one notch to 21st in handling bribery and corruption.

The Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, put Hong Kong one rung lower at 47th while the fair competition index had it at 18th from 13th.

Legislator Chan Ka-lok said Hong Kong's fall in the rankings reflects deteriorating governance under Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

He warned that Hong Kong could lose its much vaunted economic advantage if its governance standards don't improve.

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