30 Oct 2013

NZ remains third easiest place to do business

9:37 am on 30 October 2013

New Zealand has retained its third place in a survey of the easiest countries in which to do business.

The World Bank Group's 2014 Business Report ranks 189 countries based on ten criteria, such as ease of opening a business or paying taxes.

Singapore held the top spot for the eighth successive year, followed by Hong Kong. Australia ranked 11th.

New Zealand still has the easiest conditions for firms to start a business: entrepreneurs here need half a day to complete the process.

It also comes first for protecting investors, and ranks 23rd for the ease of paying taxes.

The World Bank's rankings have been criticised for being misleading, subjective, and focused too much on cutting red tape and too little on workers' rights.

The organisation says its scorecard has spurred thousands of regulatory changes in the past decade, and aims to encourage better, not less, regulation.