KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia moved up a spot on the global competitiveness for talent ranking, while remaining the leader in upper-middle-income countries based on the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI).

According to the index which measures the ability of 119 countries to compete for talent, Malaysia ranked 27th globally — up from 28th in GTCI 2017 — and led in the upper-middle income countries bracket.

This was attributable to the country performing particularly well in the enable and vocational, and technical skills categories, the index stated.

“The attraction of talent is explained in part by the country’s excellent performance in variables related to management practices and growth opportunities,” it said in a statement yesterday.

“Outstandingly, in terms of collaboration across organisations, Malaysia is ranked No 1 in the world.”

Malaysia was fifth among the Asia-Pacific countries behind leaders Singapore, which ranked second globally.

Australia, New Zealand and Japan also outranked Malaysia on the index.

The GTCI 2018 was undertaken by business graduate school INSEAD, human resources (HR) company Adecco Group and telecommunications provider Tata Communications Ltd, and emphasised both cognitive and identity diversity.

It said top-ranking countries shared several characteristics including educational systems that were focused on employability, flexible regulatory and business landscapes, employment policies combining flexibility and social protection and external and internal openness.

INSEAD ED of global indices and co-editor of GTCI Bruno Lanvin said diversity needs to be managed and taught to contribute to a country’s competitiveness while recognising additional facets of diversity, especially gender, culture and ethnic background.

“Committing to a culture of inclusion is also a must to make diversity work,” Lanvin said in the same statement.

“A concerted call for greater inclusiveness and collaboration from around the world will undoubtedly open up opportunities for demographic groups, which have often been sidelined in the past on the talent scene.”

Comment ing on Singapore, INSEAD Shell chair professor of HR and organisational development (emeritus) Paul Evans said the country’s performance underlines its political commitment to diversity.

“There is ample evidence that diversity benefits national economies,” said Evans, who is also the academic director and co-editor of GTCI 2018.

“Efforts to stimulate and support diversity are best seen in societies that were multicultural (and often multiethnic) from the start, as was the case for Singapore.”

The report highlighted that Singapore still has room for improvement in access to growth opportunities, innovation output and social protection for labour.

Despite the strong showings from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe continued to dominate the GTCI rankings with eight European countries ranking in the top 10.

This comprises Switzerland (ranked first in the index), the US, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the UK, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve