Singapore Holds Top Spot For Ease Of Business – Japan Lags

Singapore held onto its business-friendly top ranking from last year in the “Doing Business 2016”: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency” report, which covers 189 economies. While developing countries stepped up their pace of business-friendly reforms in the past year, Singapore remains the easiest place to do business as stated in the latest World Bank report.

There were barely any changes in the report’s top 10, according to adjusted data using this year’s criteria for both the 2015 and 2016 rankings.

New Zealand remained in the number-two position, followed by Denmark (3), South Korea (4), Hong Kong (5), Britain (6) and the United States (7). Sweden moved up a notch to number eight, switching places with Norway. Finland kept its 10th place.

Despite the flurry of arrows from the Japanese Prime Minister and the promise of structural reforms to ease business bureaucracy, according to the report Japan remians stuck in 34th place behind such heavyweights as Iceland and Macedonia.

The World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report, now in its 13th year, looks at the regulatory environment for small and medium-sized companies to see how it hampers or helps them conduct business, from starting up and paying taxes to registering property and trading across borders.

“A modern economy cannot function without regulation and, at the same time, it can be brought to a standstill through poor and cumbersome regulation,” said Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist.

“The challenge of development is to tread this narrow path by identifying regulations that are good and necessary, and shunning ones that thwart creativity and hamper the functioning of small and medium enterprises.”

By surveying and ranking economies, the 188-nation development lender hopes that its “report card” will encourage regulation that contributes to economic growth and prosperity for people.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, slipped one notch to 84th place and India advanced to 130th place from 134 last year. The International Monetary Fund said in a report early in October that India was poised for the fastest growth of any other emerging-market economy this year, at 7.3 percent, thanks in part to policy reforms.

 

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