Malaysia drops 1 place in 'ease of doing business' rankings

PHOTO: Geoffrey Pereira

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia dropped one notch to No.24 in the World Bank's annual ease of doing business rankings.

The report, which is a survey among 190 countries, takes into account the processes that an entrepreneur has to go through to start and operate a business in the country.

Malaysia fell a notch lower despite an increase in the overall score to 78.43 compared to 78.11 last year.

"Doing Business records all procedures officially required, or commonly done in practice, for an entrepreneur to start up and formally operate an industrial or commercial business, as well as the time and cost to complete these procedures and the paid-in minimum capital requirement," said the World Bank in its Doing Business website.

For instance, the report takes into consideration what procedures an entrepreneur has to undergo when dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes and so on.

The report also takes note of the government initiatives and reforms that improve or hinder business activities in the country.

According to the report, Malaysia this year implemented reforms in certain areas of doing business, such as strengthening access to credit, protecting minority investors and improving trade across borders.

In comparison, last year, the World Bank noted that Malaysia made starting a business more difficult by requiring that companies with an annual revenue of more than RM500,000 (S$160,900) register as a GST tax payer.

The top three ranked countries from last year retained their positions this year.

New Zealand secured the top spot as the country with the most ease of doing business, while Singapore and Denmark took second and third place respectively.

The US was ranked sixth in this year's ranking, followed by the UK in seventh place.

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