Malaysia climbs GTCI ranks, secures top 30 spot

SINGAPORE: Malaysia rose up in ranks on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) this year,  beating countries such as South Korea.

At 28th place, Malaysia is the top-ranked country in the group of upper-middle-income countries. The GTCI 2017 was announced recently during GTCI’s regional launch at INSEAD Asia campus in Singapore.

Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI), the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.

Focusing on ‘Talent and Technology’, the 2017 report explores the effects of technological change on talent competitiveness and the future of work, arguing that while jobs at all levels continue to be replaced by machines, technology is also creating new opportunities.

Singapore is ranked second globally for the fourth consecutive year. Australia (sixth), New Zealand (14th), Japan (22nd), Malaysia (28th) and South Korea (29th), ranks within Top 30 globally.

Malaysia (28th) is the top-ranked country in the group of upper-middle-income countries. The country ranks above many high-income countries such as South Korea (29th), Portugal (31st), Spain (35th), and Italy (40th).

The Shell Chair Professor of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD, and Academic Director and co-editor of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index Paul Evans said: “Malaysia performs particularly well in the pillars of the Enabling context and Vocational and Technical Skills.

“It also does well on External Openness as it has been able to attract talent from overseas.

“In addition, in terms of talent readiness for technology, Malaysia ranks higher than South Korea even though the IT infrastructure of the latter is much superior.

“The country can boost its rankings if it further improves in Internal Openness in terms of tolerance of minorities.”

Of note, Malaysia had previously ranked 30 on the GTCI based on the 2015 to 2016 GTCI report.

Commenting on the report, Dean of INSEAD, Ilian Mihov, said: “This year’s GTCI report shows that countries in the Asia Pacific region demonstrate strong talent readiness for technology.

“It also highlights the important role of education. Educational systems have to revamp to help learners foster learning agility and adjust on the fly of changing conditions.

“INSEAD looks forward to fully playing its role as a leading global provider of talent and leadership.”

Meanwhile, Singapore retained its top spot in Asia Pacific for the fourth consecutive year in the GTCI 2017.

Singapore has shown outstanding performance in the Enable, Attract and Global Knowledge pillars. Countries can learn from Singapore’s well-developed regulatory and market landscapes for global talent to thrive and its ability to anticipate the movements of the economy.

Human Capital Leadership Institute CEO Su-Yen Wong commented: “The recent report published by Singapore’s Committee on the Future Economy suggested that building strong digital capabilities is one of the key strategies that will propel Singapore’s growth for the next two decades.

“Digital technologies will help small and exposed economies like Singapore punch above their weight by creating means for their businesses and talent to reach out to the global market.

“Countries must continue to upskill their workforce so that they can adapt to the digitisation wave and the sweeping structural changes that are poised to shakeup traditional work


Globally, European countries continue to dominate the GTCI rankings, with seven of them in the top 10. Switzerland maintains its top position, followed by Singapore and UK.

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