East Asia and Pacific Makes Steady Progress to
Improve Business Environment: Doing Business Report
PHNOM PENH, October 26, 2016 – Economies of East Asia and the Pacific region are steadily improving the business environment, finds the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business report. One of these countries is Cambodia, which ranks at 131 out of 190 economies. When compared with leading economies, Cambodia has narrowed the gap with best practices, as reflected in the increase in the distance to frontier score from 54.54 to 54.79 over the past year.
Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, released today, finds that over two-thirds of the region’s 25 economies implemented 45 reforms in the past year to make it easier to do business, compared to 28 reforms in the previous year.
More specifically, in Cambodia, the credit bureau started to provide credit scores to banks and financial institutions, improving access to credit information. This makes it more likely for small business in Cambodia with a good financial history to get credit. Moving forward, the country needs to make starting a business easier and quicker by reducing the time to register - and not requiring evidence of capital deposit after registration.
"Cambodia has been making progress in promoting a better business environment,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia. “The reforms that Cambodia has been pursuing are helping to create a vibrant economy, which will boost prospects for many Cambodians and lift them out of poverty.”
Four economies in the East Asia and Pacific region rank among the top 10 economies globally in the Doing Business rankings. The top-ranked economies are New Zealand (at 1), followed by Singapore (2), Hong Kong SAR, China (4) and the Republic of Korea (5).
“New reforms across sectors in the East Asia and Pacific Region are the stepping stones to enhance business activity. A marked improvement from last year before, economies in the region still have improvements to make in order to ease the business climate for local entrepreneurs,” said Rita Ramalho, Manager, Doing Business Report.
There are opportunities to improve of the regulatory framework for Starting a Business, Trading Across Borders and Enforcing Contracts. For example, it takes on average 57 hours to comply with border regulations for exports in the region, this is significantly longer than the average time of 12 hours it takes in OECD high-income economies.
This year, for the first time, Doing Business includes a gender dimension in three of the 10 topics covered: Starting a Business, Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts. The report finds that, in those areas, few East Asia and Pacific economies have gender barriers. No such barriers exist in Cambodia.
In addition, the Paying Taxes indicator has been expanded to cover post-filing processes, such as tax audits and VAT refund. Many East Asia and Pacific economies perform well in these areas. For instance, VAT refund compliance time take less than 5 hours in Singapore, and audit compliance time takes 2 hours in the Philippines
The full report and accompanying datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org