Regulatory Changes alter Singapore’s Business Compliance Ranking

The Annual Index by TMF Group has ranked 95 countries according to regulatory and compliance regimes. Amongst Asain countries, Singapore’s rank has considerably declined. However it has come under the least complex countries in Asia. The recent regulatory amendments have appended the ranking to 42nd positon (previously 25); given the changes in the legislative regime, however, it is likely that the industry will attract more business owing to its friendly laws towards foreign investment. The ranking was done across America, Europe, MiddleEast, Africa and Asia-Pacific to understand the complexity in doing business from a regulatory and compliance stand-point.

Business friendly Regulatory Changes to reduce administrative hurdles:

Jean-Paul Binot, TMF Singapore MD, said: “Singapore has long offered an attractive commercial environment for foreign businesses seeking to invest in the Asian region and we advise any businesses looking at this year’s index not to take it at face value. While in the short-term, the recent adoption of the Companies Act Amendments has created more complexity and uncertainty, these business-friendly changes will significantly reduce regulatory and administrative hurdles in the longer-term, further cementing Singapore’s position as an attractive location for foreign companies to enter into.”

The regulatory changes have taken a hit on the current practices and methods of Singapore’s business compliance industry. The implementation of the Companies Act has accelerated ACRA to the forefront of the governmental reforms. The legislative changes are aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on companies, promoting greater business flexibility and ensuring accountability and transparency. The age restriction for directors is removed, and ACRA will be responsible for maintaining the legal register of members of every private company.

Asia’s representation amongst the most complex jurisdictions in the regulation and compliance space has increased since 2014, with three Asian countries under top 10. Indonesia has held its place for the third year consecutively as the second most complex country for business compliance. China and Thailand has been featured in the fifth and ninth places respectively. Other notable countries from the region in the top 20 include Japan (12th), South Korea (14th) and Malaysia (15th).

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