Business friendly Samoa leads the Pacific

FRIENDLY NATURALLY: The easy-going nature of Samoans doesn’t end on the white sandy beaches, it also extends to businesses. [Samoa Observer]

Samoa provides the most businessfriendly environment for local entrepreneurs in the Pacific region, according to a new report from International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank that measures the ease of doing business.

Released yesterday, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises finds that 23 economies in East Asia and the Pacific have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly since 2005. Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year, while Hong Kong SAR, China, holds onto the second spot, followed by New Zealand. Australia is also among the top 10 in the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu were the top performers for the Pacific.

Samoa leads the region in four of the 10 indicators, including starting a business, trading across borders, protecting investors, and registering property. Fiji made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the profit tax rate—though it also introduced a capital gains tax.

At the same time, Fiji made obtaining a construction permit more expensive, and transferring property and starting a business more difficult. The report, which covers the period from June 2011 to June 2012 and which uses data for indicators that measure regulation affecting 10 key areas of the life cycle of local businesses, finds that 11 of 24 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations in the past year. China made the greatest progress in improving business regulations for local entrepreneurs, and Mongolia is the region’s top improver for the year..

“This year, Mongolia joined the global list of top 10 improvers for ease of doing business in the report, which uses data for indicators that measure regulation affecting 10 key areas of the life cycle of local businesses,” said Augusto Lopez- Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group.

“Mongolia implemented reforms that cut regulatory hurdles and make it easier for firms to do business.”

The list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are, in this order: Singapore; Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.

Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and protecting investors.

The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 185 economies.


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