Vietnam slipped one notch from the 68th to 69th place out of 190 economies in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released on October 31.
However, its score went up 1.59 points compared to a year earlier to 68.36 out of the maximum 100 points.
According to the report, Economies in the East Asia and Pacific region continued their strong reform agendas, carrying out 43 reforms in the past year to improve the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises.
Of the region’s 25 economies, two are among the world’s top 10 ranked economies – Singapore (in 2nd place) and Hong Kong SAR, China, which moves up one spot to 4 th place. And, China is among this year’s top 10 improvers.
With a single-year record of seven reforms in the past year, China advanced to 46th place in the global ranking. Malaysia also made a notable improvement by regaining its place in the world’s top 20 economies, moving up nine places to 15th rank.
With six reforms, Malaysia made dealing with construction permits less cumbersome by streamlining the process of obtaining a building permit and made starting a business easier by introducing an online registration system for the goods and service tax (GST).
It also carried out reforms in other areas, including the introduction of online single window platform to make property transfer simpler and making it easier for companies to resolve insolvencies.
Indonesia and Vietnam carried out three reforms each during the past year. In Indonesia, the reforms were aimed at easing the processes for starting a business, registering property, and improving access to credit. In Vietnam, improvements were made to make it easier to enforce contracts, pay taxes and start a business.
In the Philippines, minority investor protections were strengthened by increasing shareholders’ rights and role in major corporate decisions and clarifying ownership and control structures. In the area of Starting a Business, the Philippines simplified tax registration and business licensing processes, but increased tax registration costs.
Trading Across borders was made more difficult by increasing the number of inspections for importing, thereby increasing the average time for border compliance.
Since Doing Business began in 2003, Starting a Business has been the most common area of reform in East Asia and the Pacific. As a result, the average time to start a business in the region has been almost halved to 28 days, from 50 days in 2003, and the cost has been significantly reduced from 59% of the income per capita in 2003 to 19% now. World Bank/VOV