For many years now, Singapore and Hong Kong have been going head to head in a battle to be regarded as Asia’s ‘Best Place to do Business’. Both jurisdictions are respected international business hubs with world-class infrastructure and facilities, while at the same time being ideally located to facilitate access to other Southeast and North Asian markets. Their tax friendly policies, efficient company incorporation procedures, and social stability are just some of many factors that have contributed to an influx of foreign investors to the respective jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut winner to this battle between Singapore and Hong Kong.  Different investors have different investments, and hence different sets of requirements. However, this article will look to at an overview of rankings in which Singapore and Hong Kong are plotted against each other. By doing so, we hope to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, and also draw a comparison between the two jurisdictions wherever possible. While looking into the statistical rankings, we will address factors such as location, economic environment, taxation policies, workforce, quality of life, and the general ease of doing business.

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Similarities and differences between Hong Kong and Singapore

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/2016 Ranking [1 = extremely low; 7 = extremely high]

Category

Singapore’s’ Rank

Hong Kong’s’ Rank

Source

Nation with the Highest Public Trust of Politicians

6.3

4.6

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Burden of Government regulation

5.4

5.2

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Transparency Of Government Policymaking

6.2

6

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Cost of Living

(Ranked out of 200+ countries)

4

1

Mercer Human Resource Consulting 2016

Best Quality of Living in the World(Ranked out of 200+ countries)

26

70

Mercer Human Resource Consulting 2016

Wastefulness of Government Spending

5.9

4.5

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Most Competitive Economy

4

1

IMD World Competitiveness Scoreboard,2016

Co-operation in Labor-employer Relations

2

9

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Reliance on Professional management

6.1

5.4

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Pay and Productivity

5.4

5.5

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Worlds Freest Economy

(Ranked out of 180+ countries)

2

1

The Heritage Foundation, Index of Economic Freedom, 2016

Quality of overall infrastructure

6.4

6.4

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Quality of Port Infrastructure

6.7

6.4

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Quality of Air Transport Infrastructure

6.8

6.6

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

Efficiency of Legal Framework in Settling Disputes

6.2

6.0

World Economic Forums’ Global Competitive Report 2015/16

 

Overall, Singapore’s attractiveness as an international business hub is increasing at a rapid pace. On the other hand, Hong Kong, also considered one of the best places to start a company in the world, is strengthening its stronghold within the region.  Despite its relative lower placing across the various categories of rankings, Hong Kong could well still be the most ideal location for a certain investor to set up a company.  To better understand which country suits your business and individual needs please do not hesitate to contact us at Healy Consultants Group PLC.

Healy Consultants Group PLC is a corporate services firm providing international clients with a range of company formation and corporate advisory services. Headquartered in Singapore, the firm has an exceptional knowledge of Singapore company registration and Hong Kong company registration.

Update: Healy Consultants Group PLC just launched Singapore registration guides in Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.