Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are APAC’s top 3 talent hubs, study finds

The three countries ranked above places like the UK, France, and China.
The Straits Times
  • Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are the top 3 APAC countries for  highly-skilled professionals, according to the latest IMD ranking.

  • Singapore maintained its position from last year.

  • Malaysia moved up 6 places in the ranking, thanks to Government investments in education.

Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are Asia-Pacific’s top three countries at developing, attracting and retaining highly-skilled professionals, according to a ranking published on Wednesday (Nov 21) by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Using data and the responses from its annual survey of 6,000 executives, IMD assessed 63 countries on areas like education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration, and tax rates to create the ranking.

In first place was Switzerland, followed by Denmark and Norway, while Venezuela came in last.

International Institute for Management Development

Singapore ranked 13th – the same as last year – while Hong Kong slid six spots to 18th place and Malaysia rose six spots to 22nd place.

This puts the three countries above places like the UK, France, and China.

China ranked 39th due to its difficulties in attracting foreign skilled workers and its below-average expenditure on education compared to other advanced economies, the IMD said.

It added that Singapore and Hong Kong excelled at tapping into an international talent pool, while Malaysia was investing in education to develop its homegrown skilled workforce.

Malaysia also benefited from “improved perceptions of the quality of the talent pool available in the country.”

Said Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center: “In the current dynamic landscape… artificial intelligence, robotics and other new technologies constantly redefine the challenges that governments, businesses and society in general will have to face in the future.”

Given this environment, a skilled and educated workforce was crucial for countries looking to strengthen competitiveness and achieve long-term prosperity, he added.

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