Singapore keeps No. 2 position in global talent index

Singapore scored highly on its ability to attract and retain talent due to its openness to business and high quality of life, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index compiled by the business school Insead.
Singapore scored highly on its ability to attract and retain talent due to its openness to business and high quality of life, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index compiled by the business school Insead.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

It retains position for third straight year, the only Asian country in top 10 of annual study

Singapore has been ranked the world's second-most talent-competitive country for the third straight year, behind Switzerland.

This makes it the only Asian country in the top 10 of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index compiled by the business school Insead.

The annual study, released yesterday, measures a nation's competitiveness based on the quality of talent that it can produce, attract and retain. It was done in partnership with the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore.

Singapore scored highly on its ability to attract and retain talent due to its openness to business and high quality of life.

However, the indicator of tolerance to migrants showed a relatively poorer performance, the study found.

It also showed that Singapore has "ample room for improvement" when it comes to access to growth opportunities as well as expanding the pool of people with labour and vocational skills.


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The report also noted that Singapore's attractiveness as a regional talent hub has faced strong competition from its neighbouring countries in recent years, and such competition is likely to intensify when talent is completely mobile in the Asean Economic Community.

Singapore's tighter immigration policies and slower economic growth is a "double whammy" for the country's talent-attraction ambitions, noted the Human Capital Leadership Institute in the report.

Although Singapore will continue to remain an attractive location, talent from the region is likely to increasingly look towards other emerging economies that offer similar career opportunities, such as the Philippines and Indonesia.

"We have to be mindful that there is no permanence in a country's talent competitiveness and fleet-footed talent often would seek out greener pastures and career opportunities regionally and globally," said Ms Wong Su-Yen, chief executive of the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

Mr Bruno Lanvin, executive director of global indices at Insead and co-editor of the report, said countries have to be more proficient at managing the emerging new dynamics of "brain circulation".

"While the temporary economic mobility of highly skilled people may initially be seen as a loss for their country of origin, countries have to understand that this translates into a net gain when they return home," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore keeps No. 2 position in global talent index'. Print Edition | Subscribe