Singapore has retained the top spot as the World’s most competitive economy in the latest edition of the Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking. This comes amid the flurry of uncertainties plaguing businesses and whole economies globally, due to Covid-19.
The Global Competitiveness Report evaluates an annual list of 63 economies, which analyses their ability to generate prosperity. Making up the top five after Singapore were Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Hong Kong – which economists duly noted as illustrating the strength and resilience of many small economies, rather than a single major player in dealing with the pandemic.
IMD noted that the factors behind Singapore’s success include its:
1) Strong economic performance (robust international trade and investment)
2) Progressive and inclusive Employment and Labour market measures
3) Relative ease of setting up business
4) Availability of skilled labour
5) Cutting-edge technological infrastructure
IMD also pointed out that it is key to note that Singapore’s stable and quality education system also played key roles in the outcome of the rankings. Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, speaking at an Enterprise Singapore event on Tuesday, said it was good to see that Singapore has managed to maintain its top position in overall global competitiveness. He however warned that Singapore must not be complacent, considering the volatility of the situation with Covid-19.
This ranking is testament to the confidence in Singapore and its people. As immigration professionals processing hundreds of applicants monthly, the pillars of Singapore’s success echoes with the sentiments of foreign businesses, entrepreneurs, and hopeful applicants who seek to sink their roots here.
Albeit competition for coveted approvals remain high, this should not stop qualified applicants and businesses from setting themselves and family up in Singapore. In the various parliamentary speeches the past week, the Singapore Prime Minister and several other Ministers have committed to support the nation’s progress on both the technological and manpower fronts.
There will be a major boost in government spending on information and communications technology (ICT) in this financial year as technology becomes increasingly important in people’s lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said an estimated $3.5 billion will be spent this financial year.
The Government will also continue to invest in technology to accelerate Singapore’s digitalisation push on a whole-of-nation level. To help with the overall digital push, GovTech is also actively recruiting fresh graduates as well as experienced tech professionals such as software engineers, digital business analysts, cyber-security specialists, data scientists, AI engineers and infrastructure specialists.
Said Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran, who chairs the Committee for Digital Transformation with Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, “We need to find a balance. So our strategy has always been to find a way to complement the local talent base with a judicious component of foreign talent so that it comes together in a way … that makes opportunities bigger for everyone.”
Some of the pointers above present opportunities in sharpening the talent pool and funneling only qualified applicants to attain Singapore PR and Citizenship approvals. This also echoes what the authorities have been implementing in the last few years thru the Selective Immigration policy. As Immigration professionals, we value add to our clients by applying well-thought out strategies backed by research and current affairs.