Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » Singapore, HK most open markets in latest ICC index

Singapore, Hong Kong, and Luxembourg lead the list of the world’s most open markets for 2017, with only one of the G20 economies making it to the top 20, according to a new report by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The ICC-commissioned Open Markets Index 2017 (OMI) published this month shows that Singapore tops the list with a score of 5.63, with 6 being the most open, followed by Hong Kong (5.53), and Luxembourg (5.02).

The three economies head the 2017 rankings for the fourth successive edition of the report with a score of “excellent” in overall openness, far outstripping major economies such as the United States.

“Despite repeated pledges to enable trade as a driver of growth and job creation, G20 economies are failing to demonstrate global leadership on trade openness,” according to OMI.

The report shows that G20 nations rank below the global standard in openness to trade, with only Canada placing among the world’s top 20 open markets in 17th place.

The latest edition of the index also reveals that 18 of the G20 economies score only “average” or “below average” in overall openness to trade. The two lowest scoring G20 economies are Brazil and Argentina.

The G20 consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

The index scores 75 countries on a scale of one to six on four key factors: observed trade openness, trade policy, openness to foreign direct investment, and trade-enabling infrastructure. In doing so, the index also monitors government follow-through on longstanding G20 commitments to boost global trade flows.

After Singapore, Luxembourg, and Hong Kong, those in the top 20 are, in order of openness: Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Malta, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Iceland, Norway, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Canada, Sweden, Austria, and Denmark.

Among the Asia-Pacific economies included in the survey are Taiwan (no. 23), Malaysia (31), Vietnam (33), Japan (37), South Korea (39), Thailand (48), China (56), Sri Lanka (59), Philippines (62), Indonesia (63), and India (64).

The index was released a day ahead of the G20 Hamburg Summit earlier this month. Following the summit, ICC G20 advisory group chairman Marcus Wallenberg said they welcome the statement of the G20 affirming that the forum will maintain its long-established stance to continue the fight against protectionism in all its forms.

But he added, “Business and industry worldwide now wish that G20 leaders put words into action. We have often seen a divide between summit commitments and implementation when it comes to trade. Newly introduced concepts should not become a pretext for protectionism. With the outlook for global growth uncertain there is no room for the G20 to fall short of its commitment to keep markets open.”

Photo: Aaron Jacobs

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