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Singapore Ranks 4th in Digital Competitiveness, 7th in Innovation

In the most recent edition of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, Singapore is now ranked fourth, after Denmark, the United States, and Sweden. WCC is a research centre of the International Institute for Management Development, a private academic institution with locations in Singapore and Lausanne.

According to the World Competitiveness Center (WCC), the Republic’s progress was driven by an improvement in tertiary education (improvement in pupil-teacher ratio), an increase in its share of employees working in research and development (R&D), and improvements in regulation conducive to the attraction of foreign talent and scientific research.

The yearly survey examined 63 economies from across the world to see how prepared they are to integrate new digital technology into societal norms, corporate structures, and practices. It polled mid- and senior-level executives in addition to rating each nation based on 54 criteria.

Singapore maintained its top ranking in the “regulatory framework” sub-factor and was ranked first in the “technology” component, but its performance in the “future preparation” element, where it came in at number 10, was less impressive. Future readiness is defined by WCC as “the degree to which a country is ready to capitalise on digital transformation.” In terms of the “regulatory framework” sub-factor, Singaporeans’ assessments of the effects of immigration policy have improved this year.

The WCC cited that when it comes to cybersecurity, all areas are “far from being fully prepared to combat sophisticated cyberattacks,” with East Asian economies displaying the highest level of cybersecurity capacity.

Meanwhile, the most recent Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ranks Singapore as the seventh most innovative country in the world, with a rise of one position.

Several GII indicators decide the overall ranking. Singapore continued to perform well in typically strong measures such as Institutions (kept 1st place), Infrastructure (11th, up from 15th in 2021), and Human capital and research (7th, up from 9th in 2021).

Indicators for Market sophistication (4th, up from 5th in 2021) and Business sophistication (2nd, up from 3rd in 2021) also improved steadily in Singapore. The high rankings for these indicators show that Singapore is a modern services hub with a good environment for innovative companies from around the world and across the corner. On the intellectual property front, they also rose in the rankings for the number and reach of patents filed in Singapore.

Several metrics relating to the Business sophistication pillar in Singapore have shown substantial improvement in the nation. For example, the country made big gains in the number of ICT services they import (as a percentage of total trade) and the amount of R&D that businesses pay for (as a percentage of total R&D), which shows that businesses are investing more in R&D and new ideas. They have also strengthened the links to innovation, doing well in areas like R&D collaboration between universities and businesses.

IPOS Chief Executive Rena Lee commented that they are encouraged that Singapore has risen to the seventh most inventive country in the world. The country’s strong showings in historically strong categories such as Institutions, Infrastructure, Human Capital, and Research were bolstered by better showings in metrics that represent business and market savvy.

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