10/29/2014, 00.00
SINGAPORE
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Singapore is "the best country in the world" for business and enterprise

For the ninth consecutive year the Asian city-state takes first place in the special list drawn up by the World Bank. "Business-friendly", it takes two days to open a business and four to import containers. Hong Kong in third place, South Korea fifth.

Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the ninth consecutive year, Singapore has taken first place in the list of countries where it easiest to do business or create a business. The annual survey is prepared by World Bank (WB) experts. The Asian city-state tops New Zealand and Hong Kong; among the top 10 nations there is also South Korea in at fifth place. Coming in last on the list which examines 189 countries, entitled "Doing Business", come Eritrea, Libya, Central African Republic and South Sudan.

The special list drawn up by experts examines parameters such as the time it takes to open (and set up) a business, the bureaucracy involved and tax burden. For the World Bank, "the list is similar to last year," because the economies of the top 20 countries in the world "have continued to improve the regulatory environment for business."

Singapore's business-friendly element emerges from two figures above all: only 2.5 days to open a business, 31 for the supply of electricity and four days - at a cost of $ 440 - to import a container.

The survey, drawn up for the first time in 2004, was expanded this year to take in the second-largest city in business terms in countries with more than 100 million people. At least 11 states  benefitted from this expansion, most of which are in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan).

China climbed three places, up to 90th place while Japan dropped two, making it the 29th. Tajikistan has made ​​the most progress, climbing the highest number of rankings, while remaining confined to the 166th position.

Smaller than New York and without natural resources, the city-state's 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 285 billion Singapore dollars (about US$ 231 billion), up 14.5 per cent, the highest in all of Asia. However, wealth is not equally distributed and the city-state's economic prosperity has accentuated the disparity among citizens. Singapore's Gini coefficient - a measure of income distribution inequality - now stands at 0.48 (it was 0.444 in 2000). The Gini coefficient ranges between zero (perfect equality) and one (perfect inequality).

 

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