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Is Singapore’s competitiveness at risk?

Manu Bhaskaran
Manu Bhaskaran10/9/2017 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 9 min read
Is Singapore’s competitiveness at risk?
(Oct 9): Singapore is enjoying a powerful economic rebound after a few lacklustre years. The export sector’s surge is translating into a more robust manufacturing sector while other activities that benefit from improving trade — such as sea and air ca
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(Oct 9): Singapore is enjoying a powerful economic rebound after a few lacklustre years. The export sector’s surge is translating into a more robust manufacturing sector while other activities that benefit from improving trade — such as sea and air cargo, logistics and wholesale trade — are all gaining momentum. Even the long-suffering property sector is beginning to rise again. But, as Singaporeans revel in more salubrious economic conditions, they should also keep an eye on the continued structural challenges the country faces.

A reminder of these challenges came in the form of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index rankings. Singapore has slipped from being the second most competitive economy in the world to the third ranked. That is hardly a disaster. In fact, compared with the period 2000/01 to 2006/07, when Singapore had been ranked seventh or worse, the city state’s performance is still rather impressive. But the direction of change is a warning and so deserves closer study. And, sure enough, some of the details in the report on Singapore’s performance in key determinants of competitiveness do raise concerns.

What are Singapore’s strengths and weaknesses?

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