Singapore tops Asia Pacific in talent competitiveness for the 6th straight year.

GTCI sees six Asia Pacific countries ranking in the top quartile.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019 has again placed Singapore in the leading position in Asia Pacific. This is the sixth consecutive year for the country state. Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications, the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of 125 countries to compete for talent. This year’s report with the theme of ‘Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness’ attempts to identify the ways in which companies, countries, and cities can foster entrepreneurial talent which makes up a critical component of competitiveness and innovation, and will become even more so in a fast-paced world of digitisation and globalisation.

In the 2019 GTCI, six Asia-Pacific countries rank in the top 30: Singapore takes the lead in the region (2nd globally), followed by New Zealand (11th), Australia (12th), Japan (22nd), Malaysia (27th) and South Korea (30th).   

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019: 
Top 20 Rankings for Asia Pacific
2 Singapore    67  Indonesia   
11 New Zealand   77 Mongolia
12 Australia    80 India
22 Japan   82 Sri Lanka
27 Malaysia    83 Bhutan
30 South Korea 91 Laos
36 Brunei  92 Vietnam 
45 China  95 Kyrgyzstan
58 Philippines 107 Cambodia
  66 Thailand 108 Pakistan

Top-ranking countries share several characteristics, including having talent growth and management as a central priority, openness to entrepreneurial talent, open socio-economic policies as well as strong and vibrant ecosystems around innovation. 

Singapore (2nd globally) continues to occupy the top spot in Asia Pacific. It is the highest-ranked country in three of the six pillars – Enable, Attract, and Global Knowledge Skills. It is also one of the strongest performers with respect to the pillar on Vocational and Technical Skills. However, the city-country’s lowest pillar rank in Retain (26th) signifying its relative weakness in retaining talent.  

“The GTCI 2019 highlights how entrepreneurial talent, with underlying attributes of mobility, diversity, and adaptability, is critical for today’s knowledge economy.,” said Bruno Lanvin, executive director of global indices at INSEAD and co-editor of the report. “It comes as no surprise that Singapore is the leader in Global Knowledge Skills, the pillar that best reflects entrepreneurial talent. Compared to its competitors in the region, Singapore’s stellar performance shines through. In fact, it is no less than 10 places ahead of the second-best competitor in the region, New Zealand.”
China (45th) is in the top quartile in the Grow pillar, mainly as a result of having a world class Formal Education. China also performs relatively well in the pillars related to enabling talent and Global Knowledge Skills.  

Felipe Monteiro, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and Academic Director of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), says China is likely to see stronger performance in future editions of GTCI, “China leads the BRICS nations in the global talent race. Its rise in the global talent scene, while largely correlated with the transfer of talent from public to private sector, is also attributable to the blossoming of entrepreneurial talents and how large entities innovate and stimulate these efforts. The collaboration of business and government stakeholders in supporting its entrepreneurial ecosystem is likely to progressively drive improvements in China’s future GTCI ranking.”  

Ian Lee, Chief Executive Officer APAC and Group Executive Committee Member, The Adecco Group, added: “With an increasing demand for skilled professionals the world over, the Asia Pacific region needs to ensure it is set up to enable, attract, grow, and retain entrepreneurial talent. Countries and cities must foster an atmosphere of innovation while also providing an environment that encourages and incentivises entrepreneurs. Organisations across the region need to understand that the focus on entrepreneurial talent is not just limited to start-ups, it needs to be on the agenda for even the biggest companies. Without this crucial attribute, they risk falling behind as our economies evolve.”

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