Date
23 October 2017
Singapore retains its status for a 10th straight year as the easiest country in which to do business. Photo: Bloomberg
Singapore retains its status for a 10th straight year as the easiest country in which to do business. Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore still easiest place to do business, HK 5th: World Bank

Singapore retained its status for a 10th straight year as the easiest country in which to do business in the latest World Bank rankings.

Hong Kong remained in fifth place while China and India moved up in the bank’s 2016 Doing Business report, Bloomberg reported.

The report ranks countries based on 11 indicators such as ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity and obtaining credit.

The best 30 performers stand out because they have rules that allow “efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets”, not because they have little regulation, the Washington-based development lender said in the report.

New Zealand was ranked second out of 189 economies surveyed, followed by Denmark and South Korea.

Britain was sixth, followed by the United States, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Australia fell out of the top 10, dropping to 13th. It was replaced by Sweden, which had previously been ranked 11th.

Japan slid five spots to 34th place while China rose six spots to 84th and India climbed 12 places to 130th.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a goal of reaching the top 50 by 2017.

Eritrea was the worst-ranked country, behind Libya, South Sudan and Venezuela.

Since the ranking was created in 2003, low-income countries have improved more than their high-income counterparts, according to the report.

“As they have an opportunity to look at best business practices in some of the better-performing countries in the world, they are beginning to adopt many of these practices,” Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of the global indicators group at the World Bank, said on a conference call with reporters this week.

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