Why it's easy to do business in Singapore

Posted at 05/20/2014 8:16 PM | Updated as of 05/21/2014 1:59 PM

MANILA – For businessmen who wonder why it's so easy to do business in Singapore and why there's so little red tape, a high government official said it's because they regularly review and clean up their laws.

That should ring a bell with Philippine businessmen and investors who have to wade through many laws and regulations, some of which contradict each other.

"Where we come from is that if you want businesses to thrive, you need to remove the impediments as much as possible. Some countries have some very natural advantages and in the case of Singapore, we don't have those, so we have to work a little bit harder to make sure that the environment is transparent, and the rules are regularly reviewed to make sure that they remain relevant," said Josephine Teo, Singapore's senior minister of state for finance.

Teo said stronger economies like Singapore need to help the smaller economies especially in building skills.

She said that extends to a Philippine sore-point: aviation.

"We have set up something called the Singapore Aviation Academy. It's not just the airport, it's the whole ecosystem that supports any location trying to become an air hub--the rules that go to running an air hub, that includes traffic control and other aspects of aviation management. We make the courses available to anyone who's willing and interested," she said.