Malaysia Leapfrogs from 24th to 15th spot in World Bank Doing Business 2019 Report
According to the recently released World Bank Doing Business 2019 Report, Malaysia advanced nine places to 15th spot among 190 economies worldwide. Last year the report had ranked Malaysia at 24. On the list of top five countries, New Zealand championed the list with a score of 86.59 followed by Singapore (85.24), Denmark (84.64), Hong Kong (84.22), and South Korea (84.14). Among ASEAN countries, Singapore topped the list while Malaysia ranked second with a score of 80.60, followed by Thailand (27th), Brunei (55th), Vietnam (69th), Indonesia (73rd), and Myanmar (171th).
The World Bank Doing Business 2019 Report, which ranks economies based on their business regulations and ease of doing business, is the indicator that shows how conducive the regulatory environment is to the starting and operation of a local company in a country. In other words, the higher the ease of doing business ranking means the easier and conducive the regulatory environment is to the starting and operation of a local company.
Malaysia is Continuing its Steady Shift and Effort
The improved ranking also showed that the focus and direction of reform initiatives were on the right track. This improved ranking signifies that Malaysia is continuing its steady shift and effort to improve the business environment in the country. The follow-through action has been taken based on the doing business reform recommendations by the World Bank group. Among many others, the special task force Pemudah is the government’s effort to initiate and drive regulatory reforms and improvements within the Doing Business indicator areas in Malaysia.
The accelerating in regulatory reforms had helped Malaysia leapfrog its ranking to be among the top 20 ranked economies globally. Malaysia had carried out a total of six business reforms in 2017. The business reforms paid off well where the overall business score has seen a significant increase and that has resulted in the jump in the ranking from 24th position to 15th this year. The six business reforms are starting a business, dealing with the construction permit, securing electricity, registering a property, trading across borders and resolving insolvency.
Malaysia Was Among the World’s Top Five Performers in Certain Areas Evaluated for Doing Business
In addition to this, the World Bank report also indicated that Malaysia was among the world’s top five performers in certain areas evaluated for doing business, especially in the area of protecting minority investors for which it ranked second only to New Zealand – the perfect score of 10 in the extent of disclosure index has underpinned Malaysia’s excellence in this area.
The improved the construction permit process has helped Malaysia to advance to a global rank of three in the area of dealing with construction permits. In Malaysia, the construction permit process now needs only 54 days, if compared with 133 days on average in the East Asian and Pacific region and 158 days globally. Malaysia ranked fourth globally in the area of getting electricity where the cost for business to get electricity connection in the country being only 26% of income per capital, if compared with an average of 625% in East Asia and Pacific.
Nevertheless, there are rooms of improvement in business registration process in Malaysia. On average, it takes 9.5 procedures and 13.5 days for entrepreneurs to register business in Malaysia, while Singapore needs only two procedures and 1.5 days and Brunei takes 3.5 procedures and 5.5 days.