Hong Kong moves up in the world of competitiveness to seventh

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 7:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 8:22pm

Hong Kong has moved two places up to seventh in the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global competitiveness report, which was released on Wednesday.

The WEF assessed the competitiveness of 148 countries and economies, focusing on 12 main areas that determine their level of productivity. These areas include economic performance, infrastructure, education system, investment and business environment.

In the 2013-2014 report, Hong Kong obtained an overall score of 5.5 out of 7. Switzerland in first place had a score of 5.67, second-place Singapore, 5.61.

Hong Kong was ranked top in infrastructure for the fourth consecutive year, with the report praising the “outstanding quality of [Hong Kong’s] facilities across all modes of transportation”.

Hong Kong was also first in the area of financial market development, described in the report as having a high level of efficiency, trustworthiness and stability.

But the report did say Hong Kong needed improvement in the areas of higher education, where it ranked 22nd, and innovation, where it ranked 23rd.

“In the latter category, the quality of research institutions and the limited availability of scientists and engineers remained the two key issues to be addressed,” the report said.

The other countries ahead of Hong Kong were Finland in third place, followed by Germany, the United Sates and Sweden.

The Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom followed Hong Kong to round out the top 10.

China ranked 29th in the report, same as last year. The report noted that the country’s macroeconomic situation remained favourable, with a public debt-to-GDP ratio of 22.9 per cent – among the lowest in the world – and a high gross savings rate of 50 per cent of GDP.

But it noted that while China’s institutional framework was improving slightly, areas of weakness, such as corruption, security, accountability and ethical standards among businesses, had yet to be addressed.