NZ ranks third in 'ease of business' survey
New Zealand has held onto its World Bank ranking as the third easiest place in the world to do business.
According to the latest World Bank rankings, NZ’s regulatory environment ranks third overall for ease of doing business, and first in the world for ease of starting a business and for protecting investors.
The rankings, from the Doing Business 2011 report, released today, use nine equally-ranked indicators to compare business regulations and the protection of property rights across 183 economies, from June 2009 through May 2010.
Singapore topped the list for the fifth year running, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Ireland, and Australia.
Canada was the only positive mover in the top ten, climbing two places and knocking Norway and Ireland back into eighth and ninth place.
New Zealand remained the easiest economy world-wide for firms to start a business, with entrepreneurs needing no more than one day and one procedure to complete the process.
NZ investors are the most protected in the world in terms of transparency of related-party transactions, liability of company directors for self-dealing and ability of shareholders to sue directors for misconduct.
That said, the report does not include factors such as the dilution of share value, insider trading, capital market dynamics, or protections specific to foreign investors.
The report also praised New Zealand’s “effective” approach to building regulations, low fixed taxes and fees for property transfer, and new district court rules to make enforcing contracts more user-friendly.
Finance Minister Bill English welcomed New Zealand's continued high ranking.
“This report confirms our reputation as a quality investment and business destination, and a country that promotes business confidence,” he said in a release.
East Asia and Pacific rising
For the first time in the project’s eight-year history, the economies of East Asia and the Pacific this year ranked among the most active reformers of business regulations, led by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
All three emerging market-economies eased regulations governing start-up, permitting, and property registration and improved their credit information sharing – earning Vietnam a spot in the 10 most-improved economies.
New information technologies helped simplify business start-up, international trade, and property registration in Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Samoa, while Hong Kong increased its commercial dispute resolution efficiency.
The rankings are actively used by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to set targets and 'champion economies' for other members to emulate.
A full copy of the World Bank report can be found here and ranking tables here.