Doing Business in Australia and Hong Kong SAR, China

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1 Doing Business in Australia and Hong Kong SAR, China Mikiko Imai Ollison Private Sector Development Specialist Nan Jiang Private Sector Development Specialist Washington, DC October 29, 2013

2 What does Doing Business measure? Doing Business indicators: Focus on regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small to medium-sized domestic business. Are built on standardized case scenarios. Are measured for the most populous city in each country. Are focused on the formal sector. DO NOT measure all aspects of the business environment such as macroeconomic stability, corruption, level of labor skills, proximity to markets, or of regulation specific to foreign investment or financial markets. 2 2

3 Doing Business measures 11 areas of business regulation (10 included in the DB2014 ranking), covering 189 economies 3 3

4 How does Doing Business define SMART business regulations? S M A R T STREAMLINED regulations that accomplish the desired outcome in the most efficient way MEANINGFUL regulations that have a measurable positive impact in facilitating interactions in the marketplace ADAPTABLE regulations that adapt to changes in the environment RELEVANT regulations that are proportionate to the problem they are designed to solve TRANSPARENT regulations that are clear and accessible to anyone who needs to use them 4

5 Hong Kong and Australia are in the top 30 on the ease of doing business 1. Singapore 2. Hong Kong SAR, China 3. New Zealand* 4. United States 5. Denmark 6. Malaysia 7. Korea, Rep. 8. Georgia 9. Norway 10. United Kingdom 11. Australia* 12. Finland 13. Iceland 14. Sweden 15. Ireland 16. Taiwan, China 17. Lithuania 18. Thailand 19. Canada 20. Mauritius 21. Germany 22. Estonia 23. United Arab Emirates 24. Latvia 25. Macedonia, FYR 26. Saudi Arabia 27. Japan* 28. Netherlands 29. Switzerland 30. Austria 5

6 Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Hong Kong SAR, China is second OECD High income 29 Europe & Central Asia 71 East Asia & Pacific 88 Latin America & Caribbean 100 Middle East & North Africa South Asia Two Asian economies Singapore and Hong Kong SAR (China) led the world in the ease of doing business for local firms Hong Kong SAR, China Australia Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (average ranking)* Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong SAR (China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Rep., Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Taiwan (China), Thailand, United States, Vietnam Sub-Saharan Africa

7 Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, China lead the East Asia and Pacific region in the ease of doing business Rank

8 Australia ranks 11 at the ease of doing business Rank New Zealand United States Denmark Korea, Rep. Norway United Kingdom Australia Finland Iceland Sweden Ireland Canada Germany Estonia Japan Switzerland Austria Average of the Portugal Netherlands Slovenia Belgium Israel Chile France Slovak Republic Spain Poland Luxembourg Italy Czech Republic Greece 8

9 Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, China rank highly in numerous areas of business regulations Indicator World s top ranked East Asia and Pacific s top ranked Starting a business New Zealand Singapore (3) Hong Kong SAR, China (5) Dealing with construction permits Hong Kong SAR, China Hong Kong SAR, China (1) Singapore (3) Getting electricity Iceland Hong Kong SAR, China (5) Singapore (6) Registering property Georgia Palau (20) Mongolia (27) Getting credit Malaysia / U.K. Malaysia (1) Hong Kong SAR, China/Singapore (3) Protecting investors New Zealand Singapore (2) Hong Kong SAR, China (3) Paying taxes United Arab Emirates Hong Kong SAR, China (4) Singapore (5) Trading across borders Singapore Singapore (1) Hong Kong SAR, China (2) Enforcing contracts Luxembourg Hong Kong SAR, China (9) Singapore (12) Resolving Insolvency Japan Singapore (4) Taiwan, China (16) 9

10 Variability across areas of business regulation in East Asia and Pacific Average Rank Across DB Topics Hong Kong TOP 3 rankings: Dealing with Construction Permits: 1 Protecting Investors: 3 Getting Credit: 3 Hong Kong BOTTOM 3 rankings: Registering Property: 89 Closing a Business: 19 Enforcing Contracts: 9 Hong Kong ranks 2 in the ease of doing business, but in fact performance varies significantly across indicators. 10

11 Variability across areas of business regulation in OECD high-income economies Average Rank Across DB Topics Australia ranks 11 at the ease of doing business, but in fact performance varies across indicators. Australia TOP 3 rankings: Starting a Business: 4 Getting Credit: 3 Dealing with Construction Permits: 10 Australia BOTTOM 3 rankings: Trading Across Borders: 46 Paying Taxes: 44 Protecting Investors: 68 11

12 The 50 economies narrowing the distance to frontier the most since of them in East Asia & Pacific and 2 OECD high income economies Note: Rankings are based on the difference for each economy between its distance to frontier in 2005 and that in The data refer to the 174 economies included in Doing Business 2006 (2005). Fifteen economies were added in subsequent years. The distance to frontier measure shows how far on average an economy is at a point in time from the best performance achieved by any economy on each Doing Business indicator since 2003 or the first year in which data for the indicator were collected. The measure is normalized to range between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the frontier. EAP = East Asia and the Pacific; ECA = Europe and Central Asia; LAC = Latin America and the Caribbean; MENA = Middle East and North Africa; OECD = OECD high income; SAS = South Asia; SSA = Sub-Saharan Africa. a. Reforms making it easier to do business as recorded by Doing Business since Source: Doing Business database. 12

13

14 China has reformed in several areas of business regulation since 2005, leading to improvements across indicators Exempted business registration fee, production cost for Organization Code Certificate, fee to register for both local and state tax, and production cost of tax invoices in 2011/12. In the last 8 years, China simplified taxes payment for businesses, in addition of decreasing time and number of payment, taxes rate dropped from 80% of profit to 63.7%. Distance to Frontier (Percentage points) Starting a Business Dealing with contruction permits Registering Property Getting Credit Protecting Investors Paying Taxes Trading Across Borders Enforcing Contracts Resolving Insolvency Request and obtain land use and planning conditions approvals from the Construction, Communication, Transportation Commission (20 days, no cost) are merged into a new procedure in 2011/12. Allowed entrepreneurs to use accounts receivables and a changing pool of assets to secure a loan in October

15 Pace of reforms remains strong in 2012/13: share of economies with at least one reform making it easier to do business 58% OECD high Income 40% 73% Middle East and North Africa Europe and Central Asia 60% Latin America & the Caribbean 53% 66% 75% South Asia East Asia and Pacific Sub-Saharan Africa Worldwide, 114 economies implemented 238 reforms in 2012/2013, 18% rise with respect to 2011/2012. More than half of all economies in East Asia and Pacific reformed in 1 or more areas of business regulation in 2012/13 15

16 With a total of 25 reforms, 16 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations this year Getting Credit Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Palau 9 Paying taxes Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand 4 Starting a business Dealing with Construction Permits Getting Electricity Hong Kong SAR, China, Malaysia, Mongolia Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines Malaysia, Mongolia Hong Kong SAR, China, made starting a business less costly by abolishing Summaries of Doing Business reforms in 2012/ the capital duty levied on local companies. Enforcing Contracts China, Palau 2 Protecting investors Vietnam 1 Registering property Singapore 1 Trading across borders 0 Resolving insolvency 0 16

17 Among 26 changes in 9 areas of business regulation, Starting a business was the most common in High income: OECD 8 Regulatory reform in Australia in DB Australia improved its credit information system through the Privacy Amendment Act 2012, which permits credit bureaus to collect account payment history with improved privacy protection Starting a business Registering property Enforcing contracts Dealing with construction permits Getting credit Paying taxes Resolving insolvency Protecting investors Trading across borders 17

18 Hong Kong SAR, China made starting a business easier in 2012/13 Starting a Business In 2012, Hong Kong SAR, China, made starting a business less costly by abolishing the capital duty levied on local companies. Reduction of 1.1% Cost (% of income per capita) Hong Kong SAR, China reduced cost by 1.1% percent points. 18

19 Australia improved access to credit information by amending its regulatory framework Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 The Act came into effect on December 12, 2012 and amends the Privacy Act It updates the previous provisions to more effectively address developments in the operation of the credit reporting system since It permits credit bureaus to collect account payment history with improved privacy protection. It also introduces provisions on a new credit reporting code (called the CR code) which will replace the current Credit Reporting Code of Conduct. Improved legal framework (to be implemented within 15 month of the Royal Assent on March 12, 2014) The new Act will allow for a more accurate assessment of an individual's creditworthiness and therefore likely lower the levels of indebtedness. 19

20 Hong Kong and Australia have implemented the majority of good practices in Paying Taxes Electronic filing and payment (76 economies) Australia; Hong Kong, SAR, China; Colombia; Greece; India; Lithuania; Malta; Mauritius; Tunisia One tax per tax base (55 economies) Hong Kong SAR, China; FYR Macedonia; Namibia; Paraguay; United Kingdom Self-assessment (160 economies) Australia; Hong Kong, SAR, China; Argentina; Canada; China; Rwanda; Sri Lanka; Turkey 20

21 Hong Kong and Australia have implemented the majority of good practices in Dealing with construction permits Hong Kong SAR, China Georgia Singapore Bahrain United Arab Emirates St. Vincent and the Grenadines Taiwan, China Denmark Grenada Australia 21 Global good practices Risk-based systems Australia has comprehensive classifications of building categories and risks based on size and use. Their systems have proved quite successful over the years. Privatizing Inspections Since 2010 in Australia, principal certifying authorities can accredit professionals from various backgrounds including engineers, planners and building and land surveyors to serve as inspectors. In addition, the Building Professionals Board became responsible for accrediting, regulating and enforcing actions against certified inspectors. One-stop shops In 2008, Hong Kong established a One Stop Centre for Warehouse Construction Permits for receiving all relevant building license applications from 6 government departments and 2 private utilities (i.e. telephone line and electricity supply). 21

22 Main findings of case studies on the Republic of Korea Improving court efficiency: the Republic of Korea s e-court experience Savings from the implementation of e-court systems can be substantial and result from a reduction in the use of paper, less time spent in court, less need for storage space and easier archiving of documents and a general streamlining of processes and services. Korea was a pioneer in using electronic features to streamline court processes, launching electronic case management in the mid-1980s. The electronic case filing system allows for electronic filing of civil, commercial, administrative and family-affairs cases and will soon integrate insolvency cases, and by June 2013 almost half of civil cases were e-filed. 22

23 Malaysia: implementing electronic tax filing and payments By 2012, 76 of the economies measured by Doing Business had fully implemented electronic tax filing and payment systems. Since 2006 e-filing usage has jumped among individuals and companies in Malaysia The case study of Malaysia s experience, modernizing manual tax filing and payment and moving to a paperless online system, shows the opportunities that technology can provide to taxpayers and governments as well as the challenges that may emerge during the transition. In 2004 Malaysia s Inland Revenue Board (IRB) spearheaded an initiative to implement a system for filing and paying taxes that would promote electronic, paperless transactions. Tax systems in developing economies, like those in more developed ones, face both new challenges and new possibilities as a result of technological change. Malaysia s electronic filing system has eased compliance with tax obligations for businesses IRB encountered several implementation challenges, key among them the public s initial reluctance to use the new system. So IRB increased its promotion efforts, upgraded the system and hired workers to show taxpayers how to use it. The number of individuals and companies using e-filing jumped from 5% of active filers in 2006 to 37% in The time that businesses need to comply with Malaysia s tax regulations fell from 190 hours in 2004 to 133 in 2012 as measured by Doing Business. 23

24 Thank you! Questions 24

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