Singapore has a long line of accolades and recognition that continue to establish it as force to be reckoned with in the global business industry. The Republic has been hailed as the best place in the world to conduct business operations based on a study conducted and published by the World Bank in its annual Ease of Doing Business Report. Singapore has held the title for ninth consecutive year. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has also ranked the city-state as best location for doing business earlier this month. It has held the top spot for seven consecutive years.
Further cementing the viability of Singapore as a premier business location, a study recently conducted jointly by global consultancy firm, KPMG, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) established the Republic as having the best corporate governance requirements in the Asia Pacific region.
Essentially, corporate governance is defined as the set of processes and principles by which a company is governed and administrated. These set of processes and principles provide a company with a clear directions and guidelines on how it must be directed and operated in a way that is both beneficial to the business and all its stakeholders. In this case, the stakeholders include the management, board of directors, customers, shareholders, employees and the Singapore society.
Singapore’s clear and comprehensive corporate governance requirements allowed it to rank third overall, following Great Britain and the United States of America. A mark behind the Republic is Malaysia and Australia that are both on the fourth spot and Hong Kong which was ranked sixth.
The report looked at twenty-five (25) markets across the globe. However, it did not assess the level of compliance among companies in each country. The study, however, also indicated that the enforcement may be a roadblock regardless of how well established the corporate governance requirements are. According to the head of ACCA Singapore, Ms Leong Soo Yee, there remains to be areas for improvement for Singapore’s corporate governance requirements.
The report has shown that developed countries performed way better in terms of setting clear requirements compared to developing countries. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is lagging with markets that generated the lowest ranks include the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, China, Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei and Laos. The study called for governments to strive hard towards satisfying the global corporate governance requirements based on the principles of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).