Malaysia continues to improve in the global ranking of the most business-friendly economies coming in at 12 th position in the World Bank Doing Business Report for 2013, moving up from 18th spot last year and 23rd in 2010.
The Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises report which was unveiled yesterday rated Malaysia as the top country in the world for getting credit and the fourth for protecting investors.
Malaysia has also made significant improvements in a number of areas including ease in getting electricity, from 59th last year to 28th spot; registering property (59th to 33rd), paying taxes (41st to 15th), trading across borders (29th to 11th), and dealing with construction permits (113th to 96th).
The report also noted that Malaysia was among the top 10 economic reformers in the APEC region, commending the country for setting up the Pemudah a Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business at inter-ministerial level to reform business regulations and procedures.
The country is also ranked ahead of major economies such as Sweden (13th), Taiwan (16th), Germany (20th), Japan (24th), Switzerland (28th), China (91) and India (132).
Among Asean countries, Malaysia came in second after Singapore which is ranked at the top position, while ahead of other member countries, with Thailand at No.18, Brunei (79), Vietnam (99), Indonesia (128), Cambodia (!33) and Lao PDR (163).
Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the report showed Malaysia's rising global competitiveness.
The Minister said the latest ranking was an indication of Malaysia's continuous improvement in the delivery of public services and the overall efficiency of government machinery through the Economic Transformation Programme and the Government Transformation Programme.
Malaysia remains committed to its strategic reform initiatives as the country now looks forward to be among the top 10 most business-friendly and globally-competitive economies, he said, adding that “Getting there will strengthen our position as a destination of choice for local and foreign investors.”
World Bank Country Director for Malaysia Annette Dixon lauded Malaysia for “its ongoing efforts to reduce the costs of doing business”.
World Bank Senior Economist for Malaysia, Frederico Gil Sander also commended the country for continuing to improve “the quality of domestic regulations” as this would have vast potential to spur private sector when undertaken with increase efforts at implementation of strategic reform initiatives particularly the liberalisation of the services sector and the enforcement of Malaysia's new competition law.
The report, undertaken in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation, assessed 185 economies on 11 areas including starting a business, getting licensing approvals and efficiency of tax administration. The survey covered the period from June 2011 to June 2012.
Adapted from New Straits Times, Star 24 October 2012 and IFC and World Bank DoingBusiness website