World Bank: Steady improvement in local biz

By KEVIN WONG / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

MALAYSIA ranked 24th among 190 other economies — marginally lower compared to last year, where it ranked 23rd in the Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs (DB 2018) report, according to the World Bank Group.

The report stated that by enacting three reforms during the past year, Malaysia has continued to improve its business climate for local entrepreneurs.

Despite the slight decline in the ranking, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the World Bank has singled out some success in Malaysia’s business regulatory reforms.

“The fortifying of access to credit through the new Companies Act 2016, in which it has established a modern collateral registry, as well as strengthened the minority investor protection by demanding better corporate transparency, was singled out by the World Bank — placing Malaysia as the fourth-best country for minority investors.

“It (the World Bank) also singled out the improved infrastructure facilities at Port Klang which has eased the handling of import and export processes at the terminal,” he said.

He highlighted that a total of 23 reforms were undertaken over the last 15 years — higher than the average of 15 reforms undertook by countries in the East Asian and Asia-Pacific regions.

“The reforms have shown Malaysia’s commitment to minimise regulatory burden, to ensure our laws will motivate rather than impede enterprises, primarily small and medium enterprises, to do business in our country,” he said, adding that the optimistic outcome of the report was a result of the government’s endless reforms over the past decade.

At the same time, Malaysia documented an improvement of 0.96% in terms of overall distance-to-frontier (DTF) rating, from 77.47% in the previous year to 78.43% in 2017.

On the other hand, Malaysia and 10 others were the only ones that recorded a development of DTF scores out of the top 25 economies rated.

The DTF score measures the distance of each economy to the “frontier economy”, of which refers to the best performing country on each of the indicators across all countries involved.

Throughout Asean, the DB 2018 report also placed Malaysia second, after Singapore, and ahead of economies such as Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam. Whereas in the Asian region, Malaysia ranked in the top five, lurking behind Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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