A politically compliant AP reporter, by the name of Bradley S. Klapper wrote on May 21, 2010 that “Singapore and Hong Kong are the world’s most competitive economies, an annual survey said Friday.”
This is the type of misleading reporting that the news media feed to mislead the American people that the world economy is on an upswing.
The “survey” cited by Klapper comes from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) which is Located in Switzerland. IMD defines itself as “the global meeting place for executives from all over the world.”
IMD’s Professor Stéphane Garelli (a man) leads the team which publishes the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook – in IMD’s words, “the most comprehensive and reputed study in the field of the competitiveness of nations.”
IMD report compares the competitiveness of sixty-one countries and regions using 312 criteria.
I don’t know what these 312 criteria may be, but I do know that Singapore, for one, is not one of “the world’s most competitive economies.”
I worked in Singapore for 10 years. Car prices and rental prices for apartments are astronomical.
At Citibank, we were paying an average of $6,000 a month on apartment rentals for our expatriate employees.
Singapore car prices are unbelievable. A new Toyota Camry 2000 Sedan costs $83,000. In addition, you have to purchase a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) from Singapore, which gives you permission to even purchase the vehicle. The COE costs $24,549, bringing the total cost of the Camry to $107,549. The better option might be to purchase a three-year old used Camry for a bargain $50,000.
An American friend of mine worked in Singapore for a U.S. company building yachts. His company could not compete with Taiwan (ranked number 8 by IMD). My friend lived in a large flat at the Claymore, where rents are around $11,000 per month.
So where do your employees, the grunts, live? Most likely they live where 87% of Singapore’s population lives – in Housing Development Board (HDB) apartments (they call them flats).
A 600 square foot HDB flat can be rented for a modest $1,200 a month. If you want to purchase a 900 square foot flat, you can get one for only $261,000 – provided you don’t mind living out in the boondocks.
So back to Professor Stéphane Garelli who crunches piles of numbers to come up with his ratings. With the high cost of even a bare existence in Singapore, how can it be the most competitive nation on earth? The answer is easy – it can’t be competitive at all.
But what about Professor’s Garelli’s ratings? How can Singapore be number 1, when China is 18 and South Korea 23?
Professor Garelli’s IMD is just one of many such “services” that rank Singapore’s economy way up there.
Maybe it’s because the Singapore Government has a lot of money to spend.