Cutting Red Tape In Singapore

When Agnes Tan applied for a permit to open a sandwich shop in Singapore's financial district, she had to wait in three different 90-minute lines just to get her floor plan approved. Then, surfing the Web one night, the 27-year-old accountant stumbled on Singapore's "eGovernment" Internet portals. There, she discovered, she could get the rest of the required permits--for everything from kitchen equipment to registering employees for Social Security--from her desk. "Without this," says Tan, "it's a nightmare."

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