GBCI report: Mainland China ranks among the most complex APAC jurisdictions in which to do business. Hong Kong, SAR remains the least complex APAC country to invest in

LONDON, June 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TMF Group, a leading provider of compliance and administrative services, has today launched the 11th edition of the Global Business Complexity Index (GBCI). The annual report analyses 79 jurisdictions across the globe, offering data on key aspects of doing business around the world.

At 11th place, Mainland China ranks as the most complex APAC jurisdiction within this year’s GBCI, moving up from 15th place in 2023. It is followed by Kazakhstan at 10th and then by Indonesia at 16th and South Korea at 19th. This year’s study found Mainland China’s complexity to be driven by the localisation of e-invoicing in accounting, leading to new requirements around management and digital archiving.

Indonesia’s reduced complexity stems from simplifications around market entry, such as lowering capital requirements to incorporate, lowering severance payments, and the introduction of a golden visa scheme.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, SAR, has improved in this year’s GBCI rankings, from 74th in 2023 and 2022, to 76th in 2024, maintaining its position as a key Asian hub and as the least complex APAC jurisdiction within the study. Even though the country’s banking methods can add to the complexity of setting up a business, the low and straightforward tax system remains attractive. The country has also implemented AI and outsourcing to address high salary demands.

Within the rest of the APAC region, Malaysia’s implementation of an e-invoicing system is helping to streamline financial processes, reduce costs and enhance transparency. Likewise, Vietnam’s digitalisation efforts – such as online tax report filing – are also saving businesses on both time and costs.

Yet elsewhere, start-up entities in the Philippines are still seeing delays in obtaining their licenses and registrations due to a lack of standardisation when it comes to new laws and regulations. Similarly, in Thailand, there remains serious challenges for foreign investors, with restrictions around foreign companies establishing full business ownership in the country.

TMF Group’s Head of APAC, Shagun Kumar said:

The Global Business Complexity Index (GBCI) remains a cornerstone for understanding business complexities within key jurisdictions around the world. This year, Hong Kong, SAR has maintained its position as the least complex APAC jurisdiction, while countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam have improved their rankings after bringing in significant changes. The APAC region continues to serve as one of the primary growth catalysts for both our clients and our own organisation and I hope this report continues to be an invaluable resource for business decision makers and researchers.”

Top and bottom ten (1= most complex, 79= least complex)

1        Greece

2        France

3        Colombia

4        Mexico

5        Bolivia

6        Turkey

7        Brazil

8        Italy

9        Peru

10      Kazakhstan

70        Jamaica

71        British Virgin Islands (BVI)

72        Jersey

73        United Kingdom

74        The Netherlands

75        New Zealand

76        Hong Kong. SAR

77        Denmark

78        Curaçao

79        Cayman Islands

Media Contacts

TMF Group:

Giampaolo Arghittu

Zulfadhli Ibrahim

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