Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019: Switzerland remains #1; Singapore leads Asia-Pacific; Europe dominates the top 10; China leader among BRICS nations

Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019 – Switzerland, Singapore, Europe, China, etc.

(PRESS RELEASE) MIDDLE EAST, ASIA, EUROPE, 23-Apr-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — The Adecco Group, Tata Communications and INSEAD have just released their annual benchmark report that looks into the ability of 125 countries around the world to compete for talent. According to the latest report, Singapore is again sitting on the leading position in the Asia Pacific for the sixth year in a raw. The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2019 has been announced during GTCI’s Asia Launch event at the INSEAD Asia campus in Singapore.

In the fast-paced world of digitisation and globalisation the entrepreneurial talent is a critical component of competitiveness and innovation and 2019’s GTCI report called “Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness” looks into the ways in which companies, countries, and cities can foster entrepreneurial talent.

When looked into the Asia-Pacific region, six countries have made the top 30 of the global 2019 GTCI ranking with Singapore taking the lead in the region (2nd globally), followed by New Zealand (11th), Australia (12th), Japan (22nd), Malaysia (27th) and South Korea (30th).

As taken from the report, this is how the top 20 positions for the Asia-Pacific region look like in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019.

 2 Singapore  67 Indonesia
 11 New Zealand 77 Mongolia
12 Australia 80 India
22 Japan 82 Sri Lanka
27 Malaysia 83 Bhutan
30 South Korea 91 Laos
36 Brunei 92 Vietnam
45 China 95 Kyrgyzstan
58 Philippines 107 Cambodia
66 Thailand 108 Pakistan

Analyzing what the countries ranked on top have in common things like talent growth and management appear to be a central priority along with openness to entrepreneurial talent, open socio-economic policies as well as strong and vibrant ecosystems around innovation.


Singapore ranks 2nd in this year’s GTCI report and continues to sit on the top spot in Asia Pacific. In three of the six pillars – Enable, Attract, and Global Knowledge Skills the country is the highest-ranked one. Singapore is also among the strongest performers when it comes to the pillar on Vocational and Technical Skills. That’s not the case, however, when it comes to the pillar on Retain – there the city-country sees its lowest rank and namely 26th. This signifies Singapore’s relative weakness in retaining talent.

Commenting on the report, Bruno Lanvin who is the Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD and the co-editor of the GTCI 2019 report, said:

“The GTCI 2019 highlights how entrepreneurial talent, with underlying attributes of mobility, diversity, and adaptability, is critical for today’s knowledge economy. It comes as no surprise that Singapore is the leader in Global Knowledge Skills, the pillar that best reflects entrepreneurial talent. Compared to its competitors in the region, Singapore’s stellar performance shines through. In fact, it is no less than 10 places ahead of the second-best competitor in the region, New Zealand.”


China has been ranked #45th in the global GTCI 2019 and is in the top quartile in the Grow pillar in particular, largely due to its world class Formal Education. In the two pillars of enabling talent and Global Knowledge Skills, China also performs relatively well. According to Felipe Monteiro, the Academic Director of the GTCI, China is likely to see stronger performance in future editions of GTCI.

Commenting on China’s position in the GTCI 2019 rankings, Felipe Monteiro, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and Academic Director of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), said:

“China leads the BRICS nations in the global talent race. Its rise in the global talent scene, while largely correlated with the transfer of talent from public to private sector, is also attributable to the blossoming of entrepreneurial talents and how large entities innovate and stimulate these efforts. The collaboration of business and government stakeholders in supporting its entrepreneurial ecosystem is likely to progressively drive improvements in China’s future GTCI ranking.”

Ian Lee, CEO of APAC and Group Executive Committee Member, The Adecco Group:

“With an increasing demand for skilled professionals the world over, the Asia Pacific region needs to ensure it is set up to enable, attract, grow, and retain entrepreneurial talent. Countries and cities must foster an atmosphere of innovation while also providing an environment that encourages and incentivises entrepreneurs. Organizations across the region need to understand that the focus on entrepreneurial talent is not just limited to start-ups, it needs to be on the agenda for even the biggest companies. Without this crucial attribute, they risk falling behind as our economies evolve.”

Vinod Kumar, the Chief Executive Officer of Tata Communications comments:

“Asia-Pacific is embracing technology driven shifts at pace, with much needed localisation of services for the Asian consumer. In parallel to these shifts, it is critical that mindsets must also transform at an organisation level for any digital transformation initiative to fully succeed. One that embraces and embeds a culture of hyper-customer-consciousness and willingness to adapt, maybe even letting go of the past. This is what will provide countries, cities and industry that competitive edge as we look towards the future.”


The two countries continue to demonstrate strong performance with their consistent rankings within the top 15 globally. New Zealand is ranked #2 while Australia is #3 for the Asia-Pacific region (11th and 12th respectively in the global GTCI 2019 ranking). New Zealand in particular is a global leader when it comes to the Enable (5th) and Attract (4th) pillars. New Zealand’s ability to attract both foreign and domestic talent is strong. New Zealand’s overall rank is hurt by the Vocational and Technical Skills pillar where it sits on the 20th position. When it comes to Formal Education Australia is the best performing country occupying the number 1st position. While the country ranks well in the Retain pillar, it goes comparatively lower in the pillars related to enabling talent and Vocational and Technical skills.


Japan is ranked #22 in the global GTCI 2019 ranking and is one of the leading countries in enabling talent. The country sees room for improvement when it comes to attracting talent where it ranks #45, where improving gender equality indicators presents a challenge in particular.


Malaysia has been ranked #27 in this year’s global GTCI 2019 ranking. The country is the only non–high income country to make it into the top quartile in the report/ranking. Malaysia demonstrates quite consistent performances in all six pillars of the GTCI. Aside Retain where it ranks #34, Malaysia is seen in the top quartile on all pillars. Retaining talent and improving quality of life related indicators is where Malaysia sees room for improvement.


South Korea ranks #30 in the global GTCI 2019 ranking. The country’s strongest asset is a good pool of Global Knowledge Skills where it sits on the 20th position. South Korea sees solid performances in both High-Level Skills (19th) and Talent Impact (20th). However, its ability to attract talent, just like with Japan, is hurt due mainly to gender equality indicators.


India sees its position in the global GTCI 2019 ranking at #80. The country is often seen as the country that consistently falls behind the other BRICS countries. Growing talent is India’s best performance, which is the only pillar where the country is positioned above the median. On the other side, India’s biggest challenge is to improve its ability to Attract and Retain talent, where it ranks in the bottom quarter.


When looked in the global top 10 of the GTCI 2019 rankings, the European countries continue to dominate with 8 of them occupying the top 10. Switzerland, unchanged from previous year, ranks first globally, followed by Singapore and the United States as the third.

 1 Switzerland 6 Finland
2 Singapore 7 Sweden
3 United States of America 8 Netherlands
4 Norway 9 United Kingdom
5 Denmark 10 Luxembourg


When it comes to the cities within the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, the top 10 for Asia Pacific in this year’s rankings is as follows:

10 Seoul 27 Hong Kong
15 Taipei 30 Melbourne
17 Singapore 41 Osaka
19 Tokyo 58 Beijing
26 Sydney 61 Auckland

It is called The Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI) and now it is in its third edition. It has greatly been expanded to cover 114 cities across the world (from 90 cities in 2018 and 46 cities in its inaugural edition). The expansion in city coverage tries to uncover more valuable insights into what sets some cities apart from others in the development and harnessing of talent.

The 2019’s GCTCI rankings reveal how cities are continuing to play a growing role in shaping talent policies and strategies, as well as in adopting imaginative ways in which talent can be grown, attracted, and retained locally.


The top 10 Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI) 2019 looks like:

1 Washington, DC 6 Boston
2 Copenhagen 7 Helsinki
3 Oslo 8 New York
4 Vienna 9 Paris
5 Zurich 10 Seoul

Commenting on the GCTCI 2019, Bruno Lanvin makes a note of:

“For the first time in the GCTCI, an Asian city has emerged in the Top 10. Seoul (10th) performs exemplarily, ranking first in the Enable pillar among these 114 cities. Out of the 29 cities ranked in Asia Pacific, 11 are from mainland China. The rise of Asian cities on the global talent radar screen is bound to continue its increase in the coming years, aligned with greater national efforts to develop smart cities.”


The topic on the GTCI 2020 will be on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the theme named “Global Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies permeating economies and societies, the global talent competitiveness will be redefined. The GTCI 2020 will explore what countries and cities are best positioned to benefit from the AI revolution.

The full report can be downloaded over here (338 pages).

The press and media contacts are as follows:


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