Euromoney, March 9 2017
It might be time to stop calling Singapore ‘the next Switzerland’. The maxim needs to be inverted.
This is what we learn from the latest iteration of the Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) survey, which for more than 20 years has ranked the world’s countries and states by investment risk.
Those who follow ECR know it is far more than an idly determined award. It reflects a complex methodology combining the views of a community of economic and political experts across 15 categories of economic, structural and political risk; a further survey of debt syndicate managers; IMF data on debt indicators; and Moody’s and Fitch credit ratings.
It covers 186 countries, but the top spot rarely moves far. In 1993, Japan was the first top-ranked country. The US and Luxembourg have also held first place, but over the past decade either Switzerland or Norway have been in the ascendancy.
So, Singapore joins an exclusive club in claiming the number-one spot. Its ascent, from 21st in the world as recently as 2007, reflects a changing and uncertain world order, where nothing seems reliable or assured.
Norway has dropped a spot with the low oil price; and Switzerland’s score has been hit by its own safe-haven status, with ardour for the Swiss franc undermining the strength of its economy.
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