Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Government welcomes World Bank affirming Hong Kong's leading position in ease of doing business

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (October 29) welcomes the World Bank's assessment on ease of doing business, ranking Hong Kong as the world's No. 3.

     "This affirmed our incessant efforts in business facilitation," a government spokesman said.

     "The Government would strive to cut red tape, eliminate outdated or unnecessary regulations on business, enhance regulatory efficiency and reduce business compliance costs, with a view to further improving the ease of doing business in Hong Kong," he added.

     This year's report has introduced substantive change in methodology. The ranking calculation is based on the distance to frontier (DTF) score rather than on the percentile rank. Under the new methodology, Hong Kong ranked third in last year's report.

     "The aggregate DTF score of Hong Kong is slightly up from 84.45 last year to 84.97 this year. This indicates an improvement in our overall business environment. The World Bank also commends Hong Kong for strengthened minority investor protections by introducing requirements for directors to provide more detailed disclosure of conflicts of interest to the other board members under the new Companies Ordinance, which commenced operation on March 3, 2014. Hong Kong's ranking in protecting minority investors is up from the third last year to the second this year," the spokesman said.

     On the World Bank's remark that Hong Kong made starting a business more difficult by increasing the registration fee, the spokesman said, "In fact, business registration fees have been frozen for the past 20 years. Yet, in light of the still unsteady economic environment, the Government waived the business registration fee during the period between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 as a one-off relief measure to help enterprises. The business registration fees were then reverted to the normal level on April 1, 2014."

     According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2015 Report released today, the top three performers are Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The Report compares the "ease of doing business" of 189 economies across 10 indicators.

     Among the ten indicators, Hong Kong ranks first in dealing with construction permits, second in both protecting minority investors and trading across borders, fourth in paying taxes, sixth in enforcing contracts and eighth in starting a business. This reflects the Government's continuous efforts to push ahead with reforms to improve the business environment.

     The Government will study the Report carefully to identify scope for improvement, and continue to explore ways to improve the business environment by partnering with the business sector and other stakeholders, and reforming the existing regulatory regimes to ensure that regulation is appropriate.

Ends/Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Issued at HKT 10:22


Print this page