‘Little Red Dot,’ big opportunity
January 25, 2016 Editor 0
The results are out, and Singapore once again tops the charts in the much-talked-about Doing Business rankings! When you’re a trade or private sector development specialist, it’s the details that get you excited – like the number of days it takes to get a product from the shop floor to the market, or the annual cost savings in the millions to a small business benefiting from a new online tax-filing system.
Let me share an example from the trenches. Many cities throughout the world have struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of major technological disruptors such as Uber, an on-demand taxi-hailing service that has caused protests, regulatory confusion, lawsuits and knee-jerk bans and reversals. Singapore, for its part, has gone on to address the problem, even winning a prize in the World Bank Group’s annual Competition Advocacy Contest for its efforts to facilitate the entry of third-party taxi-booking apps.
Through strong cooperation between the Competition Commission of Singapore and the Land Transport Authority, the government was able to show that the entry of innovative technology, like third-party apps, can bring about benefits to both commuters and the taxi industry. What’s more, GrabTaxi – Uber’s competitor and one of Southeast Asia’s most successful technology startups, with a valuation of more than $1 billion – has set up its headquarters in Singapore after originally being established in Malaysia.
This is just one of the many ways that Singapore continues to show leadership and innovation in the development arena in which I work: the Bank Group’s Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness (T&C). The country is a leader in ensuring a positive climate for both foreign and domestic investors. For the 10th consecutive year, Singapore topped the list of 189 countries measured in the Bank Group’s 2016 Doing Business ranking. Among all countries, Singapore continues to rank highest in making it easier for businesses to launch and operate. Singapore complements its competitiveness performance with trade efficiency, where it consistently ranks among the world’s top five as measured by the Bank Group’s Logistics Performance Index.
Singapore’s rapid, sustained growth and its rise as a global center for trade and finance are some of the reasons the Bank Group recently expanded its Singapore office to create its first Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub. The Hub will employ more than 200 people over the next two years and will help catalyze urgently needed investments – public, private and Public-Private Partnerships – to fill the global infrastructure gap.
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Categories: World Bank PSD
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