Published on: Jun 11, 2019
Top spot shows the benefits of targeted infrastructure investment, competitive tax rates, skilled labour and ease of setting up a business
Singapore has recently regained the top spot as the world’s most competitive economy, overtaking the US and Hong Kong for the first time since 2010. The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2019, conducted by the Switzerland-based business school IMD, measures countries’ competitiveness using four indicators: economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.
A number of factors helped Singapore climb to the top, including immigration laws, advanced technological infrastructure, skilled labour and the ease of establishing new businesses. Hong Kong came a close second thanks to its own favourable tax regime, benign business environment and access to corporate finance.
Switzerland also improved, advancing one place to fourth thanks to economic growth, the stability of the Swiss Franc, infrastructure as well as quality of life factors such as healthcare and education.
What many of these top countries have in common is the ease of doing business, low taxes and access to quality labour. Setting up companies in these jurisdictions is also easier, especially as compared to other countries in Asia, however for foreigners there are still a number of hurdles from regulations to the need to have local / resident directors.
Singapore was not the only Southeast Asia country to improve in the rankings. Indonesia climbed 11 places to the 32nd most competitive economy, Thailand climbed to 25th position. This was partly fuelled by the US-China trade war which has seen many countries in Asia benefit from production and supply chains moving from China to Southeast Asia.
Alpadis Group have offices in Singapore (ranked #1), Hong Kong (ranked #2), Switzerland (ranked #4) and Malaysia (ranked #22) – all of which are in the top 22 – and have a team of experts able to advise on setting up a company and expanding into new markets.
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