East Asia's four Tiger Economies dominated Asia's economic competitiveness ranking in 2012, according to a report released by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
Hong Kong led the list, while Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea grabbed the following spots. The Chinese mainland kept 10th place for the third year in a row.
The mainland's competitiveness in terms of commercial and administrative efficiency and its social development level remain unchanged, the report said. Its ranking in overall economic strength, human capital and innovation capability dropped from the previous year.
China's commercial and administrative efficiency still ranked at the bottom in all of the 35 Asian economies studied.
Compared with the mainland, other major Asian economies' prospects seem gloomier.
Highly dependent on exports to Western nations, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea's economic growth slowed significantly last year, while Japan plunged from the fourth place in 2011 to the ninth place last year in terms of competitiveness.
The study also said that, in general, Asian economies are seeing an increasing interdependence. However, China is less dependent on other Asian economies than they are on China.
In terms of economic prospects this year, the report estimated that Asian economies' growth rate will rebound to about 6 percent, as external demand recovers.
But the deteriorating eurozone debt crisis, and the looser monetary policies adopted by major economies pose the biggest threat to Asian economies, said the report.