By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger
Singapore has remained the most business friendly nation in the world for seven years, according to a report by the World Bank in conjunction with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and Big4 firm PwC. The study, entitled Doing Business, said that Singapore’s regulatory environment had improved, but increasing competition from Hong Kong, ranked second, could challenge the entrepot’s position in coming years.
One source of competitive strength for Singapore is the nation’s relatively simple tax code, which helps auditors and companies comply with existing codes with minimal effort. “Singapore sees this as a source of competitive advantage, not only to keep our tax rates low but at the same time, make tax administration efficient for businesses operating here,” said Josephine Teo, Minister of Transport and Finance for the city state. Singapore has continued to make compliance easier and to lower the costs of auditing and compliance.
However, PwC Singapore tax partner David Sandison said that incentives in Singapore can often be out of sight for smaller businesses. “We see this particularly in areas in productivity and the innovation credit scheme where some local businesses are finding it difficult to comply and understand and therefore, they’re not taking advantage of things that are on offer,” he said.