11/30/2013, 00.00
SINGAPORE - ASIA
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Singapore ranks second in the world in terms of talent competitiveness

The city-state is the only Asian country in the top 20 list based on an index established by a French business school. Japan is 21st whilst China is only 47th, out of 103 countries. A strong and stable political setting attracts students and investors and boosts small and medium-sized businesses.

Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Singapore is the only Asian country to feature in the Top 20 of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, a new index launched recently by INSEAD, a French business school.

Switzerland tops the global ranking, with Singapore second and Denmark third. In Asia, Japan comes in 21st, South Korea 28th; and China, the world's second foremost economy, 47th on a list of 103 countries representing 86.3 per cent of the world's population and 96.7 per cent of global GDP.

"Talent competitiveness provides a contrasted vision of Asia", said Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD. "Singapore is far ahead of everyone else, but some countries like Malaysia show that you do not need to be rich to be talent competitive."

Singapore is one of the easiest places in the world to do business with a strong and stable political setting. It is also able to attract top foreign students and is strong in higher-level skills and formal education.

For Lanvin, "other elements are really linked to talents, such as the ability of local universities to provide the engineers and managers that are needed by companies, and similarly, a system that will allow or encourage these people to stay in a country."

Indeed, countries need "people to come and establish their roots to start contributing to their economy, to create new companies and jobs, and for that you need to have a long term vision on what a talent policy is." And to achieve this, it is necessary to boost small and medium businesses, expert say.

Smaller than New York and without natural resources, the city-state had a GDP of SGD$ 285 billion in 2010 (US$ 231 billion), posting a 14.5 per cent GDP growth for that year, the strongest in all Asia.

However, wealth is not equally distributed and economic gains have accentuated the disparity between citizens, with an increase in the Gini coefficient - a statistical measure that represents unequal income distribution - to 0.48, up from 0.44 in 2000 (0 means perfect equality and 1 maximal inequality).

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