Korea 5th in business environment

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Korea 5th in business environment

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Korea came in fifth out of 189 countries in terms of providing a good environment for business, according to a World Bank report yesterday.

The “Doing Business 2015” report placed Korea behind only Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Denmark. It is Korea’s highest ranking ever after moving up two places from seventh last year.

Korea ranks better than any other G-20 nation and is third among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The World Bank evaluated regulations for small and midsize enterprises from June 2013 through May.

The bank’s evaluation is based on 10 areas: starting a business, obtaining construction permits, access to electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, contract enforcement and resolving insolvency.

Korea ranked high for electricity, trading across boarders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. But it scored low in registering property.

The World Bank report described Korea’s tax policies - expanded breaks for inheritance of family businesses and lower corporate tax rates - as aggressive moves.

The United States place fell from fourth last year to seventh this year, and Japan dropped from 27th to 29th.

The report also said 47 governments reduced their corporate income tax rates from 2008-12.

The report noted that Korea raised the maximum tax deduction for family business inheritance from 10 billion won ($9.5 million) in 2009 to 50 billion won this year. Companies that relocate overseas production to Korea receive a 100 percent reduction in corporate income taxes for five years and 50 percent off for the next two years.


BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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