Doing Business Ease Slows Back in Asia, World Bank Says

Diep Nguyen

12:00 24/10/2019

BizLIVE -

Economies in the East Asia and Pacific region perform well in the areas of getting credit (with a regional average rank of 82nd ), getting electricity (83), and dealing with construction permits (84).

Doing Business Ease Slows Back in Asia, World Bank Says
Singapore continues to be the second top ranked economy on the ease of Doing Business rankings for a fourth consecutive year. Hong Kong SAR, China also ranks among the top 10 economies globally in third place.
Five of the region’s economies are among the top 25 global performers and the region’s average rank is 96th. 
China is among this year’s top 10 improvers. 
The region’s lowest ranked economies are Kiribati (164), Myanmar (165) and Timor-Leste (181).
Other large economies in the region and their rankings are Indonesia (73), Philippines (95), Thailand (21), Malaysia (12) and Vietnam (70). 
Economies in the East Asia and Pacific region perform well in the areas of getting credit (with a regional average rank of 82nd ), getting electricity (83), and dealing with construction permits (84). For example, in the region, completing all the formalities to obtain a permanent electricity connection and supply takes on average 63 days and costs 594.6 percent of the income per capita, compared to 83 days and 1,049.8% percent globally.
Important challenges remain in the areas of enforcing contracts (with a regional average rank of 105), resolving insolvency (105), and trading across borders (103), which show a wide variation between economies in the region. It takes 1,160 days to resolve a commercial dispute in Myanmar (ranked 187th  in Enforcing Contracts) and costs 110.3% of the value of the claim in Papua New Guinea (173).
What are the reform trends?
A total of 33 reforms making it easier to do business were implemented by 48% of the region’s economies in at least one of the areas measured by Doing Business. 
The region’s economies focused their reform efforts in the past year on improvements in the areas of dealing with construction permits and starting a business with seven and five reforms, respectively.
China is among this year’s top 10 improvers with the greatest number of reforms (8) in the region and second most globally. Other notable reformers include Indonesia and Myanmar (with 5 reforms each) and Philippines (with 3 reforms). Examples of reforms they implemented include:
China implemented reforms in the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Indonesia made paying taxes easier by introducing an online filing and payment system for the major taxes and made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic case management system for judges. Furthermore, trading across borders was made easier by improving the online processing of export customs declarations, as a result, time to export border compliance reduced from 63 to 56 hours.
Myanmar started publishing performance measurement reports to ease contract enforcement, in addition to introducing an online platform for company registration and reducing incorporation fees to make starting a business easier among other reforms.
Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam carried out two reforms each.
Noteworthy items: 
The contracting with the government indicator, which is a latest area of research of the Doing Business study, and which benchmarks the efficiency, quality and transparency of public procurement system worldwide, will be added to the Doing Business 2021 study.
This year, Doing Business includes three case studies that focus on:
- prominent regulatory changes implemented by governments since the inception of the Doing Business study across four indicator sets (starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes and resolving insolvency).
- the efficiency of public procurement worldwide.
- the positive effects of flexible employment regulation for firms, which impacts job creation and productivity growth.

DIEP NGUYEN

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