Singapore was ranked as the best place in the world to do business for the 7th year in a row by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Business Environment and Ranking Index, securing the top spot because of an “efficient, open economy that works hard to maintain its competitiveness as a regional hub for global businesses”.
The index looks at 82 different countries and judges their business environment based on factors such as political stability, taxation, infrastructure, labor pool, and openness to foreign direct investment. Other countries included in the top five were Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Sweden.
Singapore also ranked well in several other indexes in 2014 such as the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report (1st of 189), United Nation’s Human Development Index (9th of 187), and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2nd of 142).
Foreign companies and investors continue to flock to and invest in Singapore because of its low corporate tax rate of around 17%, state of the art infrastructure, low level of bureaucracy, and a government eager to attract capital.
One recent example is Exxon Mobil, which announced plans to invest US$6 billion to build a petrochemical plant. The new complex will be the largest manufacturing investment in Singapore’s history, and will raise Exxon Mobil’s total investment in the city-state to more than US$10 billion.
“But that’s not the end of the story,” said Exxon Mobil Chemical’s president, Steve Pryor. He disclosed that the company is already planning to build more facilities in the country. “ExxonMobil views the Singapore complex as a platform for future growth,” he added.
According to many experts, the planned implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 is set to further capitalize on Singapore’s status as a regional hub for business, finance and trade.