The IMD World Competitiveness Center has revealed the 2019 IMD World Talent Ranking, which evaluated 63 economies on how they develop, attract, and retain highly-skilled professionals. Further, these economies were evaluated on the factors of readiness, appeal, and investment & development.

Globally, the top 10 positions were dominated by European nations, with Singapore as the only Asian country making the list:

#1 Switzerland #2 Denmark #3 Sweden #4 Austria #5 Luxembourg #6 Norway #7 Iceland #8 Finland #9 Netherlands #10 Singapore

Among APAC countries, the top 10 economies in the ranking included:

#1 Singapore #2 Hong Kong (Global: 15th) #3 Australia (Global: 16th) #4 New Zealand (Global: 17th) #5 Taiwan (Global: 20th) #6 Malaysia (Global: 22nd) #7 Indonesia (Global: 41st) #8 China (Global: 42nd) #9 Thailand (Global: 43rd) #10 The Philippines (Global: 49th)

Check out the following country analysis for Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia:



Indonesia ranked 41 globally. Individually, the country ranked 51st for investment & development; 24th for apppeal, and 42nd for readiness.

Under the umbrella of investment & development, the country currently 'sufficiently' implements apprenticeship programmes and, like its neighbouring country above, places high priority on employee training.

At the same time, it was found that foreign highly-skilled personnel are attracted to Indonesia's business environment, while the country also has a high quality of life reported.

Further, in terms of talent readiness, the international experience of senior managers in the country was reported as "generally significant", with readily available competent senior managers.




Globally, Thailand ranked 43rd overall, standing in 49th place for investment & development, 43rd for readiness, and 30th place for appeal.

Here, the country currently has a "readily available" pool of competent senior managers, with an education system which meets the needs of a competitive economy.

Companies in Thailand are also seen to place the attraction and retention of talent as a priority, once again having high levels of employee motivation, and access to skilled labour.




Overall, Singapore led the rankings in readiness, attributed mainly to its performance in measuring this factor. For instance, through its PISA educational assessment, percentage of graduates in sciences, the effectiveness of the country's primary and secondary education and inbound student mobility.

Further, the companies in Singapore are seen to place priority on attracting and retaining talent, with worker motivation scoring high.

The country has also observed an improvement in investment & development.




Malaysia came in 22nd overall, ranking 32nd for investment & development, 27th for appeal, and ranked 16th in readiness. Companies in the country were found to place high priorities on employee training and attracting and retaining talent. At the same time, worker motivation is high, and skilled labour is readily available.

Further, in terms of readiness, the report also found that competent senior managers are readily available in the country. Apart from this, the different education levels in Malaysia, namely primary and secondary education, university education, and management education are able to meet the needs of a competitive economy.

Lead image and infographics / IMD World Talent Competitiveness Center