S’pore continues to do well in global rankings

S’pore continues to do well in global rankings 

These high grades help boost investor confidence and draw foreign investment

 

HARDLY a week goes by without a global survey ranking nations on one economic feature or another and Singapore certainly seems to come out well in most.

At least three reports this year have given the country top marks in many areas of economic influence, including the ease of doing business, legal and political framework, economic stability and government efficiency.

 

And last week, Singapore leapfrogged major rival Hong Kong in a ranking of the most influential commercial centres around the world.

 

At first glance, the reaction by many might be: ‘So what, they are just surveys and mean little in the real world.’

 

But industry players told The Straits Times that Singapore’s high marks do much to boost investor confidence as well as attract foreign investment and more multinationals to set up operations here and so increase opportunities for local enterprises.

 

Ms Thong Pao-Yi, the Economic Development Board’s executive director for communications, said: ‘Naturally, these rankings will help us in our investment promotion or talent attraction work.’

 

Ms Chew Mok Lee, the group director of enterprise promotion at Spring Singapore, agreed: ‘The favourable ranking will help boost confidence in engaging Singapore businesses as partners, suppliers and even customers.

 

‘Our reputation as a pro-business country will be a key differentiating factor for businesses to leverage in terms of an ideal gateway to the region.’

 

That can have only beneficial spin-offs for Singaporeans, said Mr Mark Ellwood, the managing director of recruitment firm Robert Walters Singapore.

 

‘Companies that set up operations here will have to find local talent, train them and impart knowledge, which will naturally increase the overall quality of the labour force.’

 

The key surveys this year have been varied in focus sand findings, but Singapore’s consistently high rankings indicate it is firmly on the right track in a competitive environment.

 

One such poll was the MasterCard Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, which is said to be used by multinationals to help guide investment decisions.

 

It ranked Singapore as the second most influential centre in Asia, just behind Tokyo, and the fourth most influential in the world.

 

It is up two places from last year’s inaugural ranking and ahead of Hong Kong.

 

The survey also found Singapore was the easiest of 75 cities polled in which to do business.

 

And in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore topped Asian countries, narrowly trumping Japan.

 

In its related study, the Logistics Performance Index that ranks 150 countries according to how easy it is to ship goods across borders, Singapore was No. 1 in the world.

 

According to the 2008 findings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook published by Swiss business school IMD, Singapore is the second most competitive economy after the United States.

 

The 20-year-old study assesses how a nation creates and maintains an environment that sustains business competitiveness. Singapore scored 99.33 points, up from 99.12 last year, with the survey organisers tipping that it may topple the US from top spot in coming years.

 

Singapore has topped international surveys and rankings for at least a decade.

 

In 1995, it ranked first in Fortune magazine’s list of best cities for business and led the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness ranking.

 

So does this mean Singapore could one day be Asia’s leading business centre?

 

Mr Lawrence Leow, the president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said: ‘For foreign businesses that are thinking of setting up in Asia, Singapore will become a more attractive option than other Asian cities.

 

‘These are strengths that Singapore can leverage on to become the centre of all Asia.’

 

 

Source: Straits Times

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