ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong still trails behind Singapore in ease of doing business

It ranks fourth whilst the Lion City nabbed second place.

Hong Kong failed to chip away at Singapore’s dominance even as it rose by one place to rank fourth in the latest edition of the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings with a headline score of 84.22.

Also read: Hong Kong loses to Singapore in ease of corporate compliance

The SAR holds the top spot in the paying taxes subcategory with the least number of payments that have to be made at only 3 per year compared to bottom dwellers where 63 payments need to be shelled out annually. Hong Kong also ranks first in dealing with construction permits as it only takes 72 days and an average of 11 procedures to go through.

Hong Kong also made it easier for businesses to get electricity in 2017/18 with a third place ranking after setting up a specialised task force to undertake the trenching, excavation and reinstatement of the underground cables. It also noted that the SAR offers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Scheme, a professional training programme where registered electrical workers must participate to renew their registration so that employees are up to date on technological changes.

Also read: Hong Kong trails behind Singapore in ease of bank account opening for non-locals

The city holds 11th place in protecting minority investors, 27th in trading across borders, 30th in enforcing contracts, 32nd in getting credit, 44th in resolving insolvency and 53rd in registering property.

“[I]n the past 10 years, Hong Kong has maintained its position among the world’s top ranking economies in the report, reaffirming the city’s favourable business environment for overseas companies to set up their regional headquarters and offices, and for all businesses to flourish,” the government said in response to the report.

New Zealand held on the to the top spot with a score of 86.59 even as Singapore narrows the lead with a score of 85.24. Denmark occupied third place while Korea sealed the top five.

The report compares the ease of doing business in 190 economies across 10 indicators. 

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