Singapore ranks number one as the best country in Asia for business

By: Johanna Chisholm - Posted on: November 9, 2017 | Business

Singapore was the only Southeast Asian country to rank among the top ten countries to do business in, while Thailand and Brunei were seen as having improved the most for their ease of doing business

Singapore reported a 2.5% increase in the country’s GDP for the first quarter of 2017 Photo: Wallace Moon/EPA

Singapore has once again claimed the title of being the best country in Asia to conduct business, with an overall rank of number two out of the 190 countries profiled for the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.

The second closest Southeast Asian country to follow behind Singapore was Malaysia, whose overall ranking was 24.

Closely following behind Malaysia in their overall rank was Thailand, who came in at 26, while Brunei took the fourth spot for best performers in the Southeast Asia region with a massive jump in overall standing to 56.

Thailand, which was found in the World Bank report to be one of the top three improvers for doing business in Asia, has bumped up its overall position from last year, 48, to now be 26.

To achieve this remarkable transformation in just one year, the country implemented a number of reforms, which included changes like abolishing the requirement of a company’s seal and improving access to electricity.

In previous years, it would take up to 27.5 days to start a business in Thailand, compared to the 4.5 days it would take in 2017.

Myanmar and Timor-Leste were some of the lowest ranked countries overall and grabbed the third and last position when measured against Asia as a whole. This is not surprising, for Myanmar at least, as the reforms made to their market back in 2010 –  following the end of a military rule that was replaced by a military-backed civilian government – are only now beginning to see their impact.

In 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected the real GDP growth of Myanmar at 8.6%, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world for that year.