Annual index by TMF Group ranks 95 countries according to
regulatory and compliance regimes
Asia is the second most complex region to do business, from
a regulatory and compliance perspective, with three countries in
the top 10, namely Indonesia, China and Thailand
Argentina tops the table in global rankings as the most
complex country for business compliance, for the third year
Ireland has been ranked as the least complex place for
multinational companies to stay compliant with corporate regulation
16 February 2016 – China has
been ranked the fifth most complex country for multinationals to
stay compliant with corporate regulation and legislation, and the
second most complex in Asia, according to TMF Group's Global
Benchmark Complexity Index 2015.
The far-reaching annual study by TMF Group, a leading global
provider of high value business services to clients operating and
investing internationally, ranked 95 jurisdictions across Europe,
the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas according to
how complex they are to do business in from a regulatory and
View full report.
According to the Index, China has risen seven places to fifth
position, and ranks behind its Asian neighbour, Indonesia, which is
the second most complex country to do business with regard to
regulation and compliance. Together with Thailand in ninth place,
Asia is the second most complex region in the world behind Latin
America, which has five countries in the top 10, including
Argentina, which has topped the rankings as the most complex for
the third year running.
Wandy Chan, Head of East China at TMF Group,
said: "Despite being 'open for business'
China continues to be a challenging jurisdiction for a
multinational company to establish itself. Steps to address this
are being taken. Last year, China simplified the procedure for
company registrations, expatriate work visas and annual compliance
to encourage investment and commercial businesses. As these rule
changes take effect, we expect to see an improvement in the number
of foreign investors looking to set up operations in the
China's ranking as one of the most challenging jurisdictions
highlights the country's complex structure with numerous
provinces, each with separate regulatory regimes and a range of
Over the last year, Chinese authorities have simplified the
rules requiring companies looking to operate in the country to
obtain licences, with the need to obtain a Business Licence,
Organisation Code Certificate and Tax registration Certificate
being rolled into a single licence. These new rules mean the
process up setting up a company is much faster, and easier.
In addition, more expatriates are now applying for a five-year
residence permit, rather than the previous 1-2 years, or a Green
Card. Foreigners from certain nationalities can also apply for a
'Z visa' (Z landing visa) upon approval at Pudong Airport,
as opposed to in their home country. In addition, resident permits
have been cancelled for Hong Kong and Taiwan expatriates.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ireland (95th) has
been ranked as the least complex place to do business from a
regulatory and compliance perspective, largely due to its common
law framework, stable political environment, strong legal framework
and pro-business attitude. A landmark Companies Act introduced
during 2015 has been credited with simplifying Ireland's
corporate environment even further.
Ireland was followed at the bottom of the complexity rankings by
the British Virgin Islands (94th), new entrants Latvia
(93rd) and Trinidad & Tobago (92nd) and
regular high performer New Zealand (91st).
Argentina (1st), Indonesia
(2nd) and Colombia (3rd) are ranked as the most
Ireland (95th), British Virgin
Islands (94th) and Latvia (93rd) are the
Three European countries fall into the top 20 most complex
destinations for doing business in, namely Hungary
(13th), Poland (17th) and
Also in the top 10 were the United Arab
Emirates (4th) Mexico (6th),
Bolivia (7th), Lebanon (8th) and
Uruguay (55th), Ecuador
(40th) and Chile (37th) amongst the least complex
in the region
Asia is ranked as the second most complex region behind Latin
America with three countries in the top 10 -
Indonesia, China (5th) and
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