Singapore tops competitive economy ranking: Getting fundamentals right is key, says Chan Chun Sing

Singapore cannot afford to compete on cost or size, but can focus on its connectivity, quality, and creativity, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
Singapore cannot afford to compete on cost or size, but can focus on its connectivity, quality, and creativity, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Republic's ranking as the world's most competitive economy is encouraging, but the country has to continue to create opportunities for its people and businesses, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

Noting that competition is becoming more intense globally, Mr Chan said in a Wednesday (May 29) Facebook post that "to stay competitive, Singapore, as a small and open economy, must ensure that we continue to get our fundamentals right".

Singapore cannot afford to compete on cost or size, but can focus on its connectivity, quality and creativity, he said.

"We must leverage the brand of trust and standards that we have become known for, and continue to be a safe harbour for partnerships and collaboration."

Mr Chan's comments come after the Republic jumped from third place last year to reclaim the title of the world's most competitive economy, an accolade it last achieved in 2010.

Singapore beat the United States and Hong Kong to top the ranking by Swiss business school IMD, which looks at how well 63 economies do in four categories: economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.

In his Wednesday post, the minister said that Singapore needs to continue to diversify its linkages to access more markets, stay open and be plugged into talent, technology, data and finance flows.

 
 

"We must also enable our enterprises to boost their capabilities and scale up, while ensuring our workers are equipped with the skills - not just for today's jobs, but the jobs of tomorrow too," he said.

Mr Chan added that while tensions over trade and protectionist sentiments have made the economic outlook uncertain, there are still opportunities "so long as we continue to build upon what we have achieved and stay true to our fundamentals".

"With this, I am confident we can continue to distinguish ourselves from the competition," he said.