Hong Kong has moved up two places this year to fifth in a global ranking of the most competitive countries in the world, thanks to its improved performance during the pandemic.

Denmark was in pole position in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, followed by Switzerland. The most competitive economy in Asia, Singapore came in third, after rising two places from 2021.

The report added mainland China fell by one place to 17th this year, predominantly due to weak economic recovery fuelled by the zero-Covid strategy, The Star reports.

“Going forward, China needs to restructure the economy from manufacturing to high-value services and from investment to consumption. It also needs to build a unified national market to enhance long-term economic prosperity, and it will only achieve its socio-economic development goals by using a macroeconomic policy mix.”

Hong Kong improved mainly within the economic performance category, the report stated, rising from 30th to 15th. In regard to the domestic economy subfactor, Hong Kong rose from 32nd to 21st, whilst in international trade the city edged up to 3rd from 7th place.

“Inflationary pressure is affecting most economies,” stated Christos Cabolis, chief economist at the World Competitiveness Centre.

“Other global challenges affecting the competitiveness of countries include variants of Covid-19 with respect to the number of infected people around the world, differing national policies to address Covid (the ‘zero-tolerance Covid’ policy versus the ‘moving on from Covid’ policy), and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” he added.

Following the release of the findings, a Hong Kong government spokesperson said the city was dedicated to boosting its competitiveness. “We will step up investment in infrastructure, innovation and technology, nurturing talents and increasing land supply, to provide a favourable environment for Hong Kong’s long-term economic development,” he said.

“We have every confidence in Hong Kong’s long-term economic development and competitiveness,” he went on to add.

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