Singapore tops list of world’s best places to do business
Singapore has retained its title as the world’s best place to do business.
Singapore has long been one of Asia’s major business hubs. In fact, it’s vying with Hong Kong to be true financial capital of Asia. It’s certainly going the right way about it, since the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has once again ranked Singapore as one of the world’s best places to do business.
Its “efficient and open economy” has ensured the island nation has topped the polls for seven years in a row now – the EIU says that it “works hard” to keep the city-state competitive as a regional based for international firms.
It’s certainly true that many of the world’s biggest businesses, including the financial services sector, have bases in Singapore, although numerous firms also have offices in rival cities such as Hong Kong. However, that city has yet to match Singapore according to EIU analysis, coming in fourth place overall.
What’s more, Singapore also recently retained the number one spot in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings for 2015. None of the top three places changed hands – New Zealand remained in second, while Hong Kong stayed in third position.
A fairly low corporate tax rate has undoubtedly helped Singapore’s position, but it’s likely that its biggest advantage is the extensive and easily accessible range of financial and legal services that are already available. Hong Kong does have an abundance of these services as well, but it may be that Singapore’s proximity to the promising emerging markets of south-east Asia is giving it the advantage.
Switzerland and Australia took second and third place in the EIU study, while Sweden completed the top five in the rankings. Canada, the US, Denmark, New Zealand and Finland rounded out the top ten and also the UK has yet to reach these heights, it edged up one place to sit in 21st. Malaysia, Austria and France all ranked higher.
However, the BRIC countries remained difficult places to operate in spite of their huge potential. Brazil was the most successful in 47th place, with India 48th – but China and Russia lagged behind at 50 and 64 respectively.