Business and economic archives - Cost of living, finance and business trends

Singapore is best place to do business

Singapore tops the ease of doing business chart for the ninth consecutive year. The ranking is featured in the Doing Business report, published annually by the World Bank Group which measures regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.

The top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, United States, United Kingdom, Finland and Australia.

My country Malaysia is ranked at 18th, not bad at all. Economic powerhouse China is ranked at 90th.

United Arab Emirates – Then & Now

A short historical film of the United Arab Emirates by Journeyman Pictures, which covers the economic development of the Middle East nation since the 1950s – from pearling, oil discovery, to trading, tourism, properties and luxuries etc…

About Hong Kong Dollar banknotes

One thing that I’ve learnt from my Hong Kong trip… apparently Hong Kong Dollar banknotes are issued by three different commercial banks, each with their own design, but with similar size and colour scheme for the same value note.

Hong Kong Dollar banknotes

The three commercial banks are the Bank of China, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and the Standard Chartered Bank – all under the governance of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) which also issues banknotes itself.

Banknotes are issued solely by the central bank in most nations – some with the coins handled by another agency. Hong Kong’s system is presumably adapted from UK, with the Pound Sterling being issued by seven banks beside the Bank of England.

Nissan van is NYC new taxicab

Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan Motor has won a US$1bn (est.) contract to provide the next generation of New York’s iconic yellow taxicab.

Based on Nissan NV200 design, the new NYC taxi, to be introduced in 2013, will have power outlets to plug in phones and laptops; a transparent roof for city views; exterior lights that warn cyclists and pedestrians about opening doors; airbags for passengers; and custom climate controls for each seat (what’s that?).

The Nissan minivan is also said to be very fuel-efficient. And perhaps the most important of all, it’s the cheapest among the three finalists in the billion dollar bid.

The NY Times made an interesting infograph showing the New York City’s taxicab design over the past century. Click image for full size pic…

New York City taxicab history

Apple sues Samsung for copying iPhone

Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple iPadApple Inc is suing Korean manufacturer Samsung for copying their entire Galaxy product range from Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad designs.

In the lawsuit filed last Friday, Apple claimed that “When a Samsung Galaxy phone is used in public, there can be little doubt that it would be viewed as an Apple product based upon the design alone…”

I have to agree with Apple’s statement, Galaxy products do resemble Apple’s at first glance. However, it’s not necessary the case from a close look, and in a design copyright lawsuit every details matter instead of just a first impression.

Apple should know the facts well, so it’s probably just a business gimmick to halt the growth of Samsung Galaxy, one of its fiercest competitors (though still trailing far behind) in the smartphone and tablet computer markets.

[Update] Samsung is suing Apple for violating its patent rights in return lol.