Singapore declared Southeast Asia’s most ‘powerful’ nation

Orchard Road. Photo: Coconuts
Orchard Road. Photo: Coconuts

Singapore slid two places in a ranking of the world’s most powerful nations but remained the only one representing Southeast Asia in the top 30.

Singapore ranked 22nd globally, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings, which are based on perceived power and influence and based on surveys of more than 20,000 people worldwide.

“The world’s most powerful countries also are the ones that consistently dominate news headlines, preoccupy policymakers and shape global economic patterns,” the news agency said in its announcement yesterday. 

Respondents were asked to associate various countries with attributes including the strength of their alliances and economic influence. The ranking was produced in partnership with a marketing firm and the ivy league Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

What does it mean to be a power player in the big game?

“Their foreign policies and military budgets are tracked religiously,” it said. “When they make a pledge, at least some in the international community trust they will keep it.”

As for Singapore, the magazine cited the city-state’s impressive growth for its position.

“One of Asia’s four economic tigers, Singapore has seen impressive growth in recent years as efficient manufacturing and production practices have made way for free-market innovation in the booming electronics and pharmaceutical industries,” it says. “Gross domestic product per capita is high and unemployment is low, making Singapore one of the wealthiest nations in the world.”

It gave no reason for Singapore’s slip. The Lion City was No. 20 in last year’s ranking, while the nations representing the top 10 were unchanged. The United States was No. 1, followed by Russia, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The magazine said the United States has the world’s largest economy and spends the most on its military. 

“The U.S. spent slightly more than US$35 billion in economic aid and nearly US$15 billion in military aid in 2017, the most recent year data is available,” it read. The US’ GDP is at US$20.5 trillion.

Here are the 30 most powerful countries, according to the American media company:

  1. United States
  2. Russia
  3. China
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. France
  7. Japan
  8. Israel
  9. South Korea
  10. Saudi Arabia
  11. United Arab Emirates
  12. Canada
  13. Switzerland
  14. India
  15. Australia
  16. Turkey
  17. Italy
  18. Qatar
  19. Spain
  20. Sweden
  21. Netherlands
  22. Singapore
  23. Norway
  24. Brazil
  25. Egypt
  26. Denmark
  27. Austria
  28. Ukraine
  29. New Zealand
  30. Luxembourg

Related:

Singapore comes out tops for highest quality of living in Asia-Pacific


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