Singapore as best country for a new business
According to an annual report by the World Bank, Singapore is the best country in the world in which to start a business. The plucky little Asian nation beat some strong competition to top the list of the recent World Bank's ‘Doing Business' study.
The research evaluated 183 countries based on certain criteria, such as the ease with which they encouraged new business start-ups. Each country was evaluated on key aspects, such as how easy it was to obtain credit, or the degree of government support initiatives available. Singapore ranked number one, followed by Hong Kong and then New Zealand. The UK came in fourth and the US fifth. The former French African colony of Chad occupied the lowest rung of the ladder.
The World Bank have been publishing their studies since 2004, scoring their subjects according to nine main criteria. Amongst these factors are payment of tax, the ease of cross-border trading, registration of property, dealing with construction permits, the ease of closing down a business, how contracts are enforced, and how investors are protected. The research does not study the wider conditions such as infrastructure, skills of the workforce, security or political stability.
Of the 183 countries that were surveyed, the World Bank commented that 117 had implemented new business-friendly regulations between June 2009 and May 2010 (the 12 month period that was covered for the 2011 report).
A World Bank analyst commented that governments were reacting to the global economy. "Against the backdrop of the global financial and economic crisis, policy makers around the world took steps in the past year to make it easier for local firms to start up and operate. While some economies have been hit harder than others, how easy or difficult it is to start and run a business - and how efficient courts and insolvency proceedings are - can influence how firms cope with crises and how quickly they can seize new opportunities."
The report's co-author Dahlia Khalifa said that Singapore continued to spearhead the economic elite due to a variety of reasons. "Singapore has now been top of our survey for the past five years. It is simply the most efficient place from which to import and export. For example, you only need four documents to export and import goods, which remains global best practice. Singapore is also the leader in protecting investors and minority shareholders."
The People's Republic of China, now the second-largest economy on the planet, actually trailed Singapore by some distance (at 79th place on the list).