Brunei ranks third in Southeast Asia for talent competitiveness

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam has taken the third place in Southeast Asia, seventh in the Asia-Pacific and 38th place globally in the recent Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2020.

The Sultanate scored 52.17 per cent for overall talent competitiveness scoring reaching 25th place globally in Vocational and Technical Skills pillar with a score of 62.04 per cent; 33rd place globally with 61.72 per cent in the pillars of Enable, 37th place in Attract pillar (59.25 per cent), and 55th place in Retain (54.27 per cent) .

Singapore topped the list in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific for the seventh consecutive year. The city-state scored 78.48 per cent for overall talent competitiveness, coming in first worldwide in the pillars of Enable (91.17 per cent), Attract (88.61 per cent), and Global Knowledge Skills (71.19 per cent).

Malaysia rose up two spots from 28th to 26th globally, while Thailand dropped one spot to 67th, and Indonesia moved up two spots from 67th place to 65th place.

Overall, the top 10 most talent-competitive nations in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific are Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Brunei Darussalam.

The top of the GTCI rankings is still dominated by Europe, with only seven non-European countries in the top 20: the United States (US) (second), Singapore (third), Australia (10th), Canada (13th), New Zealand (16th), Japan (19th), and Israel (20th).

Addressing the theme of Global Talent in the Age of artificial intelligence, this seventh edition of GTCI explores how the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the nature of work and forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems.

As machines and algorithms continue to affect a multiplicity of tasks and responsibilities and almost every job gets reinvented, the right talent is required not only to conduct new responsibilities and ways to work, but also to capture value from this transformative technology.

As was the case in previous editions, GTCI 2020 champions include a significant number of small high income economies, many of them being either landlocked, island or quasi-island economies, including Switzerland (first), Singapore (third), Luxembourg (eighth), Iceland (14th) and Austria (17th).

Such economies have developed relatively open socio-economic policies in which talent growth and management are central priorities. All Nordic countries can also be found in this high performance group.

Since the creation of GTCI, one of its central findings has been that openness is key to talent competitiveness. Openness will remain a key factor to grow, attract and retain talent in the age of AI. Compared to previous editions, GTCI 2020 shows a continued strong performance by larger cities, in particular in the US (seven among the top 20). Cities (especially smart cities) remain ideal testbeds for new AI-based services and strategies.