Hong Kong has dropped to ninth place on a global competitiveness ranking conducted by the World Economic Forum. In a report entitled “The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017,” Hong Kong is the third Asian economy behind Japan, in eighth place, and Singapore, in second place.

Hong Kong ranked seventh on the scale last year. While the report said that Hong Kong had one of the most flexible and efficient labour markets in the world, ranking third worldwide, “the challenge for Hong Kong is to evolve from one of the world’s foremost financial hubs to become an innovative powerhouse.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“Innovation remains the weakest aspect (27th) of Hong Kong’s performance and the business community consistently cites the capacity to innovate as their biggest concern,” the report said.

Singapore Merlion
Singapore. Photo: Wikicommons.

Singapore was lauded for its transparent public institutions and infrastructure, as well as its higher education and the efficiency of its goods market. Meanwhile, the report said that Japan had excellent infrastructure and sophisticated firms. However, its “innovation prowess seems to be eroding.”

The top ten most competitive countries are Switzerland, Singapore, the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany. The least competitive countries are Malawi, Burundi, Chad, Mauritania, and Yemen.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.