There is a winner from the global economic downturn - Finland, which has eclipsed Hong Kong and Singapore as the world's most business-friendly place - but the environment for doing business will worsen in many places because of the crisis, a new survey shows. Of 82 economies surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit for its business environment rankings, conditions are expected to worsen in more than half. And for the first time since the survey was launched in 1996, the average score for the economies surveyed has fallen - dropping from 6.47 to 6.41 out of 10. Singapore slipped to second in the EIU rankings, while Hong Kong fell two places, to fourth. 'The trade-exposed economies of Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore have the biggest falls in their scores. Exports play a vital role in all three of these economies, and the sudden collapse in export demand is having a devastating impact on economic growth this year,' the report, headlined 'Globalisation stalled', said. Still, it added: 'Despite the fact that the global crisis is forecast to have an impact on every country in Asia, some economies will be less badly affected.' Bearing out this point, Singapore's score fell nearly twice as much as Hong Kong's - by 0.61 points, to 8.27 out of 10, compared with the latter's 0.36 point drop, to 8.24, the same as Canada, in third place. Finland, the home of mobile-phone giant Nokia, scored 8.31. The new rankings are for the period from this year to 2013. The previous rankings were for 2004 to 2008. The results suggest Hong Kong's attractiveness to businesses will drop by less in the global downturn than that of Singapore. The survey measures the business environment based on 91 indicators covering macroeconomic conditions, politics and policy on taxes, the labour market, investment and infrastructure. The survey shows consistent falls in scores. Forty-four economies are forecast to have a worse business environment in the coming five years than in the past five. 'The long-standing trend of continually improving global business environments - as a result of robust growth, liberalisation and infrastructure improvements - will be halted and even partially reversed in some areas,' the report said. 'The macroeconomic environment will be affected by increased budget deficits and public debt levels, expected currency volatility and ongoing appreciable risks to asset prices. Poor ratings for the soundness of banking systems, financial sector distortions and impeded access to finance, in particular, will have a significant effect on the outlook for financial systems.' Taiwan, which placed 16th, was the highest-ranked economy to see its score increase. Its score of 7.66 was just 0.01 more than in the previous survey, yet Taiwan jumped four places in the global rankings. The mainland also saw its ranking jump, rising 11 places and 0.46 points to 45th with a score of 6.28.