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Singapore tops KPMG's Change Readiness Index

SINGAPORE has emerged as the country most ready for change for the second consecutive year, according to KPMG's latest Change Readiness Index (CRI).

"Three of the most important drivers of Singapore's change-readiness are its economic openness and diversity; the government's capacity for strategic planning and horizon scanning; and the strength of its human capital," said KPMG in a statement on Tuesday.

As with previous years, this year's top 10 remain dominated by European countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Besides Singapore, other Asian economies that ranked highly were Hong Kong and Japan, which were placed third and 15th respectively.

"The CRI reveals a mutually reinforcing relationship between change-readiness and wealth. Having a capacity to manage and drive change brings wealth, but wealth also helps countries build the capacity for change," said Tham Sai Choy, chairman of KPMG's Asia-Pacific region and managing partner at KPMG Singapore.

He added: "This ability to anticipate and drive change will be increasingly important for Singapore and our region in the face of accelerating changes to come, including vulnerabilities to shocks, and longer-term trends such as growing populations expecting higher living standards, shifting wealth distribution, climate change and new technologies. In that light, it is heartening to note the relatively high and improving rankings of countries from the Asia-Pacific region."

The CRI measures 127 countries' capacities along three dimensions: enterprise capability (the quality of the country's business environment); government capability (the fiscal, regulatory and security capacity to plan for and manage change); and people and civil society capability (comprising civil society institutions, inclusiveness of growth, education, health and technology access).