Singapore ranks 4th in new index on sustainable growth

Birds feeding at the water's edge in a mangrove along the Kranji Nature Trail at the Sungei Buloh nature reserve. A new index that measures the sustainable development of countries around the world has recognised Singapore's efforts to improve i
Birds feeding at the water's edge in a mangrove along the Kranji Nature Trail at the Sungei Buloh nature reserve. A new index that measures the sustainable development of countries around the world has recognised Singapore's efforts to improve its education system and address climate change. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

A new index that measures the sustainable development of countries around the world has recognised Singapore's efforts to improve its education system and address climate change.

The Republic was ranked 4th of 31 countries in the Standard Chartered Development Index, which was developed by the London-headquartered bank to measure progress in sustainable development from 2000 to 2012.

Ghana came in top of the ranking, followed by a tie between Uganda and Korea. There was also a three-way tie for fourth place, with Bangladesh and Egypt ranking alongside Singapore.

The index goes beyond the conventional measure of gross domestic product (GDP) to gauge a country's well-being, adding four other metrics that help determine "sustainable growth", Stanchart economists John Calverley andSamantha Amerasinghe said in a report yesterday.

Apart from GDP per capita, the index also scores countries for their years of education; life expectancy; environmental health such as fresh water and absence of air pollution; and "ecosystem vitality", which refers to long-term environmental sustainability including addressing climate change.