Singapore most competitive economy in Asia

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Singapore is the most competitive economy in Asia and fifth globally, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its 2006 ranking of competitive economies released Tuesday.

In the Asia Pacific region, Australia was at number 19 and New Zealand at number 23. South Korea was in 24th place, Malaysia was in 26th place, Thailand placed number 35 and Indonesia was in 50th place.

The rankings were based on a survey of more than 11,000 business leaders in 125 economies worldwide and also included macroeconomic factors, innovation and use of technology, plus the quality of public institutions.

The tiny city-state was the only Asian economy along with Japan within the top 10 of the 125 economies surveyed worldwide by the Geneva-based think tank.

Japan was ranked seventh behind the United States, which fell to sixth place from its number one ranking last year, the WEF said.

Hong Kong was in 11th place and Taiwan was number 13, as Asia’s so-called tiger economies kept their high rankings. Hong Kong improved from 14th place in 2005, while Taiwan fell from eighth place.

“Asia is home to some of the most as well as some of the least competitive economies in our rankings,” said WEF chief economist Augusto Lopez-Claros.

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