Singapore best in Asia-Pacific in attracting top talent

More tolerance to migrants and employee empowerment opportunities needed, survey says.

Singapore is ranked the top country in the Asia-Pacific region for talent competitiveness.

The survey, by INSEAD, ranks countries according to their ability in attracting top talent. It's the third consecutive year the city state has topped the region in the annual benchmarking study that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is followed by New Zealand and Australia. Globally the table is topped by Switzerland.

Nearly 43 percent of the workforce in Singapore was born overseas.

This year's survey shows the trend of jobs moving back to Asian countries that hold openness in cultivating talent, INSEAD said. While Asian countries are seen traditionally as talent exporters, the latest trends show that talent is drifting back to countries like China, South Korea and Vietnam.

"This year's theme of international mobility and talent attraction is of high relevance to Asia Pacific. Asian countries are historically seen as talent exporters; however, this year's report highlights the increasing trend of talent relocating to this part of the world, including a key finding that jobs are moving to where talent is, such as China, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam," said Ilian Mihov, dean of INSEAD.

The report also says the city state will do better as a talent hub if it becomes more tolerant to migrants and offers employee empowerment opportunities.

The report also says tight immigration policies and slow economic growth in recent years pose challenges to Singapore's ability to attract talent in future.