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Singapore tops survey on business regulatory environment

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Friday, 18 November 2011 04:20

Once again, Singapore has topped a survey measuring the business regulatory environment in 183 countries. The Doing Business 2012 study by the International Finance Corporation and The World Bank singled out the Republic for the sixth straight year. Singapore outperformed Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States, which also ranked in the top five.

Ms Sylvia Solf, lead author of the Doing Business Project, World Bank Group, said "Singapore is an interesting case because despite being ranked No 1, it continues to improve, it continues to change." She cited the country's consistent improvement in e-government services, setting up one-stop shops for start-ups and fast-tracking approvals for construction and building permits. But many Asian countries are keeping up through the introduction of reforms to make them more "business friendly".

Overall, 125 countries implemented 245 institutional and regulatory reforms last year and this year, the study said. This is 13 per cent higher than the previous year.

Amid the backdrop of the global economic crisis, a number of countries, especially those in Eastern and Central Europe, have introduced insolvency reforms to help companies manage their debt and implement restructuring.

This year, an indicator to check the ability of governments to provide electricity connection to small and medium-sized businesses was included in the study. The researchers say infrastructure and power connection is a big factor for businesses.

Now on its ninth year, the Doing Business 2012 survey covers government initiatives in helping new businesses start-up, in providing credit information and improving tax regulations.