Philippines, among 10 most improved countries in World Bank business report

By , on October 31, 2013

A report released on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by financial institution, World Bank, indicated that the Philippines is becoming a better place in which to run a business.

The country jumped several places up in ranking in World Bank’s “Doing Business 2014”, placing 108th out of 189 economies from 138th out of 185 in the previous report.

“Globally, the Philippines is among the 10 economies that improved the most in making regulation easier for businesses over the past year,” the report said.

Countries are ranked by the Doing Business report based on 238 regulatory reforms aimed at reducing red tape encountered in the business sector.

The Philippines’ improved ranking was credited by the World Bank report to regulatory reforms implemented in three areas, mainly improved filing and payment systems for tax compliance, simplified occupancy clearances for buildings, and new regulations giving borrowers more access to data.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said “economies with better business regulations are more likely to empower local entrepreneurs to create more jobs.”

He added that this improved business climate is “another step in the right direction toward ending extreme poverty by 2030,” he added.

The Philippines, however, still remained in the bottom half of the report due to the difficulty of starting a business in the country.

It was named as having the worst regional performance in Asia in terms of starting a business, with entrepreneurs having to go through a process of 15 different steps.

It also ranked worst in performance in Asia in terms of number of procedures involved in property registration, and worst in the extent of disclosure involved, as well as in delays in enforcing contracts.

The Philippines fell behind many of its Southeast Asian neighbors, including Singapore, which again took top-spot this year as the most business-friendly country in the region.

Malaysia took the 6th spot, Thailand ranked 18th, Brunei landed in 59th, and Vietnam placed 99th.

Among ASEAN member-states, only Indonesia (120th) and Cambodia (137th) lagged behind the Philippines.

Globally, the most business-friendly economies after Singapore were Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.

At the bottom of the list were African economies Chad, Central African Republic, Libya, South Sudan and Congo.