The World Economic Forum's (WEF) new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 (GCI 4.0), measures national competitiveness—defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity.

On this index, the United States has taken top spot among the 140 countries covered, with a score of 85.6 - while Singapore follows in second place with a score of 83.5.

The top 10 countries on WEF's Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 are:

1. United States - 85.6 2. Singapore - 83.5 3. Germany - 82.8 4. Switzerland - 82.6 5. Japan - 82.5 6. Netherlands - 82.4 7. Hong Kong SAR - 82.3 8. United Kingdom - 82.0 9. Sweden - 81.7 10. Denmark - 80.6

What the ranking is based on: There are a total of 98 indicators in the index, organised into 12 pillars reflecting the extent and complexity of the drivers of productivity and competitiveness. These are:


How to read the score: The US is the closest economy to the frontier, the ideal state, where a country would obtain the perfect score on every component of the index. With a competitiveness score of 85.6, it is 14 points away from the frontier mark of 100, implying that even the top-ranked economy among the 140 has room for improvement.

Country analysis: Singapore

Ranking second on the global rankings, Singapore features in the top 10 of seven pillars and in the top 20 of a further four, with 'openness' being one of the main drivers of its economic success.

Singapore leads the Infrastructure pillar with a near-perfect score of 95.7, boasting world-class transport infrastructure, services and connectivity. It also tops the Product market pillar (81.2), where it leads the trade openness component.


Singapore punches well above its weight in terms of market size, when taking into account imports (71.0, 27th globally). It also achieves a perfect mark in the Health pillar, thanks to a healthy life expectancy of 74 years, ahead of Japan.

Singapore is a regional innovation house, but in order to become a global powerhouse, it will need to improve its ecosystem further: Skills (76.0, 20th), Business dynamism (74.7, 16th) and Innovation capability (75.0, 14th) are the three pillars—besides Market size—where Singapore scores below 80.

Country analysis: Malaysia


All images / Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 (GCI 4.0)