Singapore overtakes HK in competitive ranking
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
A full report by the prestigious institution is due to be published tomorrow, Taiwan media reported. Hong Kong's ranking was the worst in a decade, having slipped from the top spot in 2012. Singapore was the fifth most competitive economy in the world last year. The United States ranked first while Switzerland ranked second in last year's ranking. China fell from the 21st position to the 23rd spot this year while Japan jumped to 21st, thanks to its monetary easing policy, which helped the nation's exports. Taiwan fell for the third year in a row, down to 13th from 11th. Earlier this month, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released a report showing Hong Kong topped all Chinese cities for the 12th consecutive year in competitiveness. In the CASS report, Hong Kong is followed by Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Guangzhou and Beijing. But Zhuhai has for the first time replaced Hong Kong as the most livable city. The academy said Hong Kong should resolve some of its problems as well as seize opportunities to cooperate more with the mainland. "Hong Kong's decline in competitiveness is partly due to the high rents and conflicts with the mainland," said Terence Chong Tai-leung, associate professor of economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "Also, mainland cities are bypassing Hong Kong and doing business with foreign countries directly. The peak for Hong Kong is over. Its competitiveness will fall gradually." "A competitive place should not charge too high prices," warned Law Ka-chung, chief economist and strategist of Bank of Communications (Hong Kong). "But Hong Kong is incapable of adjusting prices under the US dollar peg regime. The high levels of minimum wage and rental expenses will push costs even higher."