PH business climate improves – World Bank

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Manila -- Business environment in the Philippines significantly improved this year following a series of reform measures implemented by the government, pulling the country’s standing 30 notches higher to 108th, according to the latest World Bank survey on the Ease of Doing Business.


The Washington-based lender noted that the Philippines is among the Asian economies that registered the biggest gains in terms of enhancing its “business environment.”

The annual WB survey on the ease of doing business in 189 economies worldwide, examines 10 government rules – obtaining permits to start up a business, access to credit, trading across borders, tax system as well as insolvency procedures.

WB noted that the Philippines’ instituted regulatory reforms in key areas – resolving insolvency, online filing of taxes – helped improve the country’s ranking to 108th from 138th spot in 2012.

This signals that the gap between the developed nations and the Philippines is narrowing as it improves regulations to foster entrepreneurship and trade.

Without going to specifics, the Philippines would have ranked 133rd in 2012 survey but WB apparently “overlooked” some of the reform measures implemented.

The Philippines is joined by nine other economies, namely: Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala that saw significant gains in this year’s ranking.

Singapore remains the most business-friendly economy, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the US, Denmark, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Georgia, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

Among its regional peers, the Philippines still runs behind its Southeast Asian neighbors Malaysia (6), Thailand (18), Brunei (59), and Vietnam 99). However, its standing is better than Indonesia (120) and Cambodia (137).

The World Bank, meanwhile, noted that the primary hindrance for entrepreneurs in the Philippines is the government’s start-up regulation, which requires 15 permits that would take up to 35 days before business can start actual operation. Manila Bulletin