Malaysia ranked 25th among business-friendly economies

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/9/6/business/20060906140922&sec=business

Wednesday September 6, 2006

Malaysia ranked 25th among business-friendly economies

SINGAPORE: Malaysia ranked 25th in an annual global ranking of business-friendly economies, according to a World Bank report released Wednesday…

Singapore was placed first.

Also China was cited for best reformer in Asia over the past year.

The "Doing Business’’ report ranks 175 economies, tracking indicators of the time and cost to meet government requirements to start and close a business, obtain licenses, get credit, pay taxes and other areas.

Singapore claimed first place after last year’s top-ranked New Zealand made business licensing more difficult, the report said.

New Zealand slipped to second, followed by the United States, Canada and Hong Kong in fifth.

Among other Asian nations, Japan ranked 11th, Thailand 18th, South Korea 23rd and Malaysia 25th. China ranked 93rd.

While East Asian nations impose the fewest regulations on business after the mainly industrialised nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, they are also reforming more slowly than all the other regions around the world except South Asia.

"More progress is needed. East Asian countries would greatly benefit from new enterprises and jobs, which can come with more business-friendly regulations,’’ said Michael Klein, chief economist of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s lending arm and co-publisher of the report.

In the past year, less than half of the East Asian economies introduced at least one reform that conformed to the report’s indicators.

In Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan, there were no reforms, according to the report.

In comparison, every Eastern European country instituted reforms except Slovenia, the report said.

The report praised China’s acceleration of reforms after the country reduced the time to register a business from 48 to 35 days and cut the minimum capital required from 947 percent to 213 percent of income per capita, making it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses.

Beijing also made amendments to company law which strengthened investor protections against insider dealings, and started online customs procedures that reduced the time to import and export by two days, improving international competitiveness, the bank said.

Other notable reforms include China’s establishment of a credit information registry for consumer loans which improved the access to credit for 340 million citizens by giving them credit histories, the report said.

Globally, China ranks fourth in terms of speed of reforms, after Georgia, Romania and Mexico, it said.

The rankings do not track variables such as market size, macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perception, or crime rates. - AP

For ‘Doing Business survey’ click here.