Malaysia moved up nine places to secure a global ranking of 15 in the World Bank’s business index after carrying out six business reforms in the past year. The acceleration in reform helped the country regain a position among the top 20 ranked economies in the world, according to the World Bank Group’s doing business 2019: training for reform report. The reforms carried out over the past year covered the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, trading across borders and resolving insolvency. In a statement, the group said Malaysia’s consistent efforts to adopt international regulatory best practices made the achievement possible. “We are committed to sustaining our support for this important reform agenda going forward with a focus on areas where entrepreneurs still experience difficulties,” World Bank Group country director for Malaysia Mara Warwick said. Malaysia is also among the world’s top five performers in several areas. The country ranked second place after New Zealand in the area of protecting minority investors, while a reform to improve construction permitting advanced Malaysia to a global rank of three in the area of dealing with construction permits. In the area of Getting Electricity, Malaysia now ranks fourth globally. The cost for businesses to obtain a commercial electricity connection in Malaysia is only 26% of income per capita, compared with an average of 625% in East Asia and Pacific.

However, the group noted that Malaysia continued to underperform in the area of starting a business, with a global ranking of 122. Despite reform measures carried out over the years, it takes 9.5 procedures and 13.5 days to register a new business in Malaysia, compared with two procedures and 1.5 days in Singapore and 3.5 procedures and 5.5 days in Brunei.

In a statement, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said regulatory reforms and improvements within the doing business indicator areas in Malaysia were driven by Pemudah. “Moving forward, the structure will be strengthened to better address issues at the policy and execution levels,” it said.

Source: The Star