Singapore is now ranked as the world's most competitive economy, pushing the United States off top spot in the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings.
The US dropped to No 3 below Hong Kong and above Switzerland, the world’s fourth most competitive nation.
The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, are compiled from economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.
This year's biggest climber, Saudi Arabia jumped 13 places to 26th, while Qatar entered the top 10 for the first time since 2013.
The United Arab Emirates ranked 15th as recently as 2016 entered the top five for the first time. The UAE now ranks first globally for business efficiency, outshining other economies in areas such as productivity, digital transformation and entrepreneurship.
Venezuela remains anchored to the bottom of the ranking, due to inflation, poor access to credit and a weak economy.
Singapore's rise to the top, said the IMD study, was driven by its advanced technological infrastructure, the availability of skilled labour, favourable immigration laws, and efficient ways to set up new businesses.
In the Asia-Pacific region 12 out of 14 economies either improved or held their ground.
Indonesia leapt eleven places to 32nd, enjoying the region's biggest improvement, thanks to increased efficiency in the government sector as well as improvement in infrastructure and business conditions.
Thailand, driven by an increase in foreign direct investments and productivity, advanced five places to 25th position in 2019.