There are many factors that make up a successful and thriving economy and a major aspect of that is infrastructure, such as transport and utilities.
Although central banks have injected nearly $10 trillion (£7.5 trillion) into the global economy, many countries’ investments into “productivity-enhancing investments such as new infrastructure, R&D and skills development in the current and future workforce have been suboptimal,” according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) benchmark Global Competitiveness Report.
Therefore, WEF says, “the global economy is ill-prepared for a downturn after a lost decade for productivity-enhancing measures.”
Topping the list of countries with the best infrastructure were primarily Asian and European countries — led by Singapore, which was scored 95.4.
Singapore may be a small island city-state but it is considered the most competitive economy in the world.
It is considered one of the financial capitals of the Asia-Pacific with 60% of project finance in Southeast Asia lead-managed by Singapore-based banks. That’s down to it being known as one of the world leaders in infrastructure — everything from management and investment, to structuring.
It perhaps comes as no surprise that the UK and US both missed out on a place in the top 10. The UK came in 11th with a score of 88.9 while the US came in 13th with 87.9.
The annual Global Competitiveness Report looks at 98 indicators across 140 countries to determine the overall ranking. Each indicator uses a scale from 0 to 100, to signify how close an economy is to the ideal state or “frontier” of competitiveness. Those indicators are then organised into 12 pillars, such as health, skills, financial system, infrastructure, and institutions. It uses surveys as well as official government and statistical data.
The report is then used as a tool by over 100 of the world’s leading companies and 100 international, civil society and academic organisations to see how they can make the economy, workforces, and businesses more productive and integrate equality and inclusion into the new economy, aiming to reach 1 billion people with improved economic opportunities.
When analysing the infrastructure pillar, WEF assessed the quality and extension of transport infrastructure (road, rail, water and air) and utility infrastructure (electricity and water) through looking at everything from road connectivity to railroad density. It then calculated a score out of 100.