India Slides 10 Spots On Global Competitiveness Index, Singapore On Top

India Slides 10 Spots On Global Competitiveness Index, Singapore On Top

India Slides 10 Spots On Global Competitiveness Index, Singapore On Top

India's ranking  in the Global Competitiveness Index has faultered 10 places to settle at the 68th position this year while Singapore has toppled the US to secure the top spot. The index, which has been compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF), had placed India at the 58th spot last year.

There are some positives, too.

In terms of the macroeconomic stability, its market size and a stable financial sector, India has maintained its standing. On corporate governance, shareholder governance and renewable energy regulation, India's ranking has in fact improved. On parameters where the country's ranking has deteriorated include information, communications and technology adoption,  health conditions and healthy life expectancy. India's skills base is also poor, as is the trade openness and low participation of women workforce. Non-participation of women, has brought down India to the 128th position among 141 countries. India is also ranked low at 118th in terms of meritocracy and incentivisation and at 107th place for skills. However, in the overall scheme of things, the decline, the WEF claims, is relatively small.

India Versus Singapore: Comparing Liveability For An Expat

In 2017, for the third time in a row, Singapore bagged the coveted title of being the top expat destination declared the HSBC Expat Explorer survey. India, on the other hand, settled with the 14th rank in the list out of 46 countries. Norway, New Zealand, Germany and Netherlands are among the top five for expats.

While it is important to note that in 2017 India improved its rankings from 26th to 14, let us examine what is behind Singapore’s shining success.

Money matters

The average gross personal income per annum is $176,408 in India. Compare that to what expats get on an average in Singapore ─ $117,904 per annum.

Employment sectors

The top three employment sectors in Singapore include financial services, telecoms, information technology (IT) and internet and construction/engineering sectors. In India, construction & engineering is the top employment provider, followed by financial services.

Reasons for moving

About 35 per cent of expats move to India because they have been sent by an employer. Another 34 per cent come here for a new challenge while 29 per cent said they wished to improve their job prospects. In Singapore, 46 per cent said they moved to improve their earnings while 42 per cent said they wished to improve their quality of life and 40 per cent wanted improvement in job prospects.

Property ownership

Ownership of immovable property was comparable in both countries. About 31 per cent of expats own a property in India while 77 per cent own elsewhere. About 31 per cent own a property in Singapore and 72 per cent own elsewhere in the world.


In the overall meter, Singapore is ranked fourth in terms of its economics while India stands at number 15 out of 46. Economy encompasses factors such as an expat’s job security, work life balance, career progression, politics, entrepreurship, economic confidence, savings, wage growth and disposable income.

India’s best performance when these categories are compared is in the field of entrepreneurship in which it ranks fourth. Singapore is second in the list on this parameter. India also fares well when it comes to career progression and economic confidence at number seven and 10 respectively. Singapore is at number four and number 9 in these parameters.

India’s worst performance in this scale is with respect to work-life balance where it is ranked 38th out of 46 countries. Singapore is at number 34. In terms of disposable income, India is at the 23rd position while Singapore is far ahead at number 13. If expats are looking at wage growth, Singapore may be a better deal as it fares seventh while India is at the 20th position. Similarly, job security is far more assured in Singapore given that the country is at the 13th position ahead of India which is at number 20 in this regard.

Experience as an expat

How easy it is to buy a property, how accessible healthcare is and other factors like finance, safety, integration, personal relations, health, culture and quality of life- these together constitute an expat’s experience.

India was placed at number 38 and 37, respectively, for finance and in terms of finding decent housing. Singapore on the other hand is at number 15 and number two in this regard.

Even in terms of quality of life India scores poorly as it ranks 31st while Singapore is at number 13th position. Health wise, India is again down by several notches when compared to Singapore. The former is at 27th position while Singapore grabbed the ninth position.

Family life and social experience

HSBC has ranked India on the second position when it comes to closeness with one’s partner, number three when it comes to how well expats can integrate in the Indian system of living and number five when it comes to social life. India’s overall score in terms of family is eight.  Although Singapore’s overall ranking in this category is three, social life, closeness with partner and integration into the culture is far better an experience in India, reveals the survey. 

However, if you are looking at the quality of schools, childcare quality, health and quality of life, Singapore may be much better at number two, three and six, respectively.

It is far easier to handle the expenses related to children in India than in Singapore. India is at the 15th position while Singapore’s ranking is dismal at number 44.

Last Updated: Fri Oct 25 2019

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