S’pore is now richest in the world

Deborah Choo

Singapore topped the charts for highest GDP per capita in 2010 at close to SGD $70,000 (USD $56,532), according to a study.

In the Wealth Report 2012 published by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank, Singapore is also expected to continue to be the global leader in 2050.

GDP per capita refers to the total output of a country divided by the population.

Trailing closely behind Singapore is Norway at about SGD $63,000 (USD $51,226), then the U.S. at about SGD $56,200 (USD $45,511), followed by Hong Kong at almost SGD $56,000 (USD $45,301).

The report also forecasts that Singapore’s GDP per capita will more than double to about SGD $170,000 (USD $137,710).

Hong Kong is expected to take over Norway’s position as number two in 2050, followed by Taiwan and South Korea – two countries that failed to make the list in 2010.

The U.S. is expected to drop from third place in 2010 to the fifth in 2050.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank LLP who is also the author of the economic and wealth trends article said, "Other countries may have bigger GDP growth 2010 – 2050, but in most cases, they are starting from a much lower base on economic terms. Singapore is a developed economy, and is expected to achieve a rate of growth which enables it to remain one of the wealthiest countries in the world."
 
"Some of the factors contributing to Singapore’s forecast performance are its ‘human capital’ – a skilled and educated labour force (which is likely to lead to better long-term prospects for a country’s economic growth), the dynamic business environment (with legislation to match), openness to trade, capital mobility and foreign direct investment. Also, it is worth noting that there is a global eastwards shift in economic activity – Singapore is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this," Gilmore added.