Commercial and residential properties line the skyline of the city of Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

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According to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023 from the business school INSEAD, Switzerland is once again the most competitive country in the world.

The European country has held its title for ten consecutive years, benefiting from its “high level of social protection” and the quality of its natural environment, the report said.

Similarly, Singapore also held on to second place thanks to its educated workforce and innovative economy, followed by the US, which moved up to third place after fourth in the 2022 rankings.

The annual report measures how 134 countries attract, develop and retain their talent. The top ten countries have remained stable over the past decade, with Switzerland and Singapore consistently topping the charts as “clear frontrunners”.

“Over the last decade, we have seen an unbroken link between a country’s wealth and its talent competitiveness, with richer economies continuing to dwarf poorer economies,” the report said.

Where are China and India?

Other European countries also performed well on the list. Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Norway took fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place.

Other notable mentions include Australia, which came in eighth place, and the United Kingdom, which came in tenth place. China moved up the rankings from 47th to 40th.

India, which is forecast to be the third-largest economy by 2030, came in 103rd. INSEAD attributed this to a “collapse in business sentiment” that affected its ability to attract talent from both abroad and domestically.

“This has also led to a greater mismatch between skills supply and demand and made it more difficult to find qualified workers,” the report continued.

More “Talent Wars”

Countries’ competition for talent is expected to become fiercer over the next decade as uncertainties and international tensions in trade, investment and politics continue to rise.

“We can expect more, rather than fewer, talent wars,” the report said, adding that quality of life and sustainability will be a “critical asset” for countries seeking to become talent hubs.

Additionally, the emergence of AI in various industries could exacerbate talent inequality. “Unskilled or low-skilled workers will bear much of the additional pressure, while new categories of workers, some with higher skills, will suffer from increased competition from algorithms and specialized equipment.”

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