Malaysia Sees Improvement in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings

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In its new report, entitled “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency”, the World Bank has found that Malaysia ranks first out of the emerging economies in East Asia and ranks fourth out of all the countries in Asia.

Malaysia’s ease of doing business ranking improved two positions over last year, moving from 20th to 18th place.  The main reason for the climb in the country’s standings has been the ongoing improvements with respect to dealing with construction permits.

The World Bank’s ranking metrics include such areas as start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. Malaysia’s more developed neighbor, Singapore, once again topped the list of countries with the easiest environment in which to conduct business.

RELATED: Malaysia to Introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of Six Percent

Malaysia was particularly high ranking in the following areas:

  • Protecting minority investors
  • Trading across borders
  • Starting a business
  • Getting credit
  • Enforcing contracts
  • Paying taxes
  • Resolving insolvency

The lead author of the World Bank report, Rita Ramalho, explained the importance of Malaysia’s improvements: “Through an ambitious reform agenda, Malaysia has gradually improved on the ease of doing business. This has benefited local entrepreneurs, who now have fewer regulatory hurdles to deal with and more resources to focus on their business.”

Over recent years, Malaysia has worked strenuously to improve its business environment. These measures have included:

  • The implementation of electronic systems which have made it easier for businesses to pay taxes and execute contracts
  • Merging the company, tax, social security, and employment fund registrations into a one-stop shop
  • Reducing the time required to start a business from 37 days in 2005 to less than six days in 2014

However, Malaysia is not content to sit upon its laurels, the government has set the ambitious goal of breaking into the top ten rankings in the coming years. Malaysia Productivity Corp director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain, has stated that “for 2016, [the] World Bank’s new focus will be on registering property, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts. Malaysia will focus on these five areas to improve further and be competitive.”

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