Date
18 December 2017
International firms are increasingly making Singapore their regional or even Asia Pacific headquarters. Photo: AFP
International firms are increasingly making Singapore their regional or even Asia Pacific headquarters. Photo: AFP

Singapore still best place to do business: Survey

Singapore remains the best place in the world to do business, for a seventh year in a row, a survey of 82 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit has found.

The EIU gave the top spot to Singapore for “its efficient, open economy that works hard to maintain its competitiveness as a regional hub for global businesses”.

Runners-up were Switzerland and Australia.

Hong Kong was No. 4, beating Sweden, Canada and the United States.

China came in 50th, and Russia 64th. Libya was at the bottom of the list.

The EIU said: “The Bric economies, though attractive because of their size, are hard places to do business.”

Singapore continues to be a magnet for foreign companies because of its relatively low corporate tax rate of about 17 per cent, extensive legal and business services, and the fact that it is largely corruption-free, the Financial Times said.

The city-state has also benefited from being mostly pollution-free – in contrast to Chinese cities including Hong Kong, it said.

Last month, HSBC named Singapore the best expatriate destination after Switzerland. A survey by the bank found 86 per cent of respondents felt Singapore was “a safer place to raise a child than their home country”.

ExxonMobil invested US$6 billion this year in expanding a petrochemicals complex in Singapore, the newspaper said.

Archer Daniels Midland moved its regional Asia headquarters in September to Singapore from China, and General Motors shifted the bulk of its non-Chinese international operations in August from Shanghai to a new regional office in Singapore that will also oversee India, Africa and the Middle East.

Aspects of the business environment the EIU examined included politics; macroeconomics; market opportunities; policy towards free enterprise and competition; taxes; the labour market; and infrastructure.

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