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The top 20 most talent-competitive nations in APAC

For the sixth consecutive year, Singapore has topped Asia Pacific (APAC) in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019, as announced today (23 April) during its Asia launch event held at INSEAD campus in Singapore.

The top 20 most talent-competitive nations in APAC are:

  • Singapore (2nd globally)
  • New Zealand (11th globally)
  • Australia (12th globally)
  • Japan (22nd globally)
  • Malaysia (27th globally)
  • South Korea (30th globally)
  • Brunei (36th globally)
  • China (45th globally)
  • The Philippines (58th globally)
  • Thailand (66th globally)
  • Indonesia (67th globally)
  • Mongolia (77th globally)
  • India (80th globally)
  • Sri Lanka (82nd globally)
  • Bhutan (83rd globally)
  • Laos (91st globally)
  • Vietnam (92nd globally)
  • Kyrgyzstan (95th globally)
  • Cambodia (107th globally)
  • Pakistan (108th globally)



The GTCI, an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of 125 countries to compete for talent, is produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications.

On the global index, the top three spots for talent competitiveness has been taken by Switzerland, Singapore, and United States respectively.

Why Singapore performed so well

Singapore ranked the highest in APAC across three pillars - Enable, Attract and Global Knowledge Skills, and is one of the strongest performers in the pillar of Vocational and Technical Skills. However, it had the lowest rank in the pillar of Retain.

On this, Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD and co-editor of the report, said: "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."



Globally, the cities ranked top five for talent competitiveness are Washington DC (US), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Vienna (Austria), and Zurich (Switzerland).

This year’s GTCI report carries the theme of ‘Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness’, pointing to ways in which companies, countries, and cities can foster entrepreneurial as a critical component of competitiveness and innovation.

Ian Lee, Chief Executive Officer APAC and Group Executive Committee Member, The Adecco Group, noted the importance of entrepreneurial talent, explaining: "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."

Photo / 123RF

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