SINGAPORE - Singapore was tops in attracting and developing talent in the Asia-Pacific region for the fifth straight year while pipped by only Switzerland globally, according to an index compiled by French business school Insead.
Its Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2018 measured the ability of 119 countries to lure, develop and retain talented people.
Five other Asia-Pacific countries ranked in the top 30. They are Australia (11), New Zealand (12), Japan (20), Malaysia (27) and South Korea (30).
Globally, European countries continued to dominate the annual talent competitiveness ranking, with the US at No. 3 and Singapore the only non-European country in the top 10.
With the theme of "Diversity for Competitiveness", the 2018 index examines two types of diversity: Cognitive (differences in knowledge, experience and perspectives) and identity (gender, race, age, et cetera).
The Insead report underscored the importance of diversity for building innovative teams and to equip organisations with the ability to address the needs of markets and operations in multicultural environments.
Said Paul Evans, academic director and co-editor of the GTCI on Singapore's performance, said Singapore demonstrated consistently strong performance linked to the nation's deep political commitment to diversity.
He said: "Efforts to stimulate and support diversity are best seen in societies that were multicultural (and often multi-ethnic) from the start, as was the case for Singapore. Indeed, the nation's strong stance on its diversity policy were at the core of its independence - testifying to the need for vision, determination, and dedication on the part of the country's political leaders."
But the study did find that Singapore has room for improvement when it comes to access to growth opportunities, innovation output, and more social protection for labour.
In a ranking of cities, Zurich came in first, followed by Stockholm and Oslo as Europe again came up trumps, providing eight of the top 10. Washington and San Francisco were the only cities from outside the continent.
The top four cities in the Asia-Pacific were Tokyo (12 globally), Seoul (18), Sydney (20) and Singapore (33).