Singapore was named best place in the world to run a business for the eighth consecutive year by an annual World Bank report on Tuesday.
Asian rival Hong Kong was named second, followed by New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.
The annual Doing Business report ranks countries on how business-friendly their regulatory environments are. It takes into account factors such as the ease of starting a business, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.
Some of Singapore’s South-East Asian neighbours showed improvement this year, with Malaysia rising from 12th to sixth place in the rankings.
The Philippines rose 30 places to 109th, making it one of the top-10 most improved nations after introducing business reforms in the past year.
For the first time, this year’s report assessed Myanmar, which has recently opened up after years of military rule and isolation. It was ranked 182nd out 189 economies.
“The data show that there is considerable scope for reform, and efforts are underway to improve the country’s business regulations,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of global indicators and analysis at the World Bank group.
“By removing bottlenecks to firm creation and growth, governments can signal the emergence of a more business-friendly environment, as has already been done in a large number of economies in the region.” Elsewhere, Britain dropped from seventh to 10th place, and China fell five spots to 96th.