Singapore held 13th spot in the world in attracting and developing talent, a notch below Hong Kong.
Singapore scored 75.63 versus 77.9 for its regional rival, while both took a big lead against 10 others in Asia, according to 2017 rankings released Tuesday by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development.
Switzerland took top prize in the overall ranking of 63 economies worldwide.
In the region, Hong Kong topped Singapore in a tight race for the best of Asia's talent.
Among the other big Asian economies ranked on the index, Japan was unchanged at 31, China was ranked at 40 and India at 51.
Europe continued to dominate the 2017 list, with 11 out of the 15 most talent competitive economies based on the continent, after a strong performance in 2016.
Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium remain the most competitive countries in the 2017 IMD World Talent Ranking. Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg make up the top-ten.
The IMD assesses the ability of a country or territory to develop, attract and retain talent, and measures benchmarks such as health infrastructure, apprenticeships and student mobility, as well as less quantitative indicators, like quality of life and worker motivation.