Magandang hapon po.
Thank you to our partners from government and the private sector, and our friends from the media, for joining today’s discussion of the Philippine performance in the Doing Business Report 2015.
I cannot emphasize enough how regulatory reform can reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity, by making doing business easier for small and medium enterprises.
These twin goals of eliminating poverty and boosting shared prosperity also drive the World Bank Group’s country partnership strategy in the Philippines. The strategy includes promoting rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth by improving the investment climate.
To reduce poverty, we need to create more jobs. To boost shared prosperity, we need to create a better business environment so that the private sector is more comfortable taking risks and investing more in business. It is the business of the private sector that creates more jobs and fuel the economy.
We also know that better governance fosters faster economic growth. Research by the Worldwide Governance Indicators shows that better regulatory quality leads to higher income per capita. Conversely, heavier regulatory burden reduces economic growth and increases macroeconomic volatility.
Today, and through the Doing Business report, the World Bank Group examines the nuts and bolts of the economy that help make it run smoothly, fairly and predictably, leading to a better climate for investment and job creation.
I refer to those regulatory processes that government is responsible for: such as registering firms, registering property, getting electricity hooked up, and so on.
In this year’s Doing Business, we revised some indicators to include more consideration of their quality. For example, last year, we considered it an improvement when a credit bureau collected and shared data about a borrower’s loan payment delinquencies.
This year, we modified this to ensure that good practice is followed. In the example, good practice is to not keep historical data on delinquencies for longer than ten years. Also, good practice is to not erase data about delinquencies right away even after the loan is paid off by the borrower. If these conditions are followed alongside collecting and sharing data about a borrower's delinquencies, then the country gets scored positively.
I encourage you to keep this in mind as we listen to the presentation that Hans Shrader will make about the Philippine performance in Doing Business, as well as the government’s initiatives, which Bill Luz of the National Competitiveness Council will share with us.
This is the 12th year of Doing Business Report, which is one of the most popular, most read, and most debated report the World Bank Group has ever produced.
I congratulate the Philippines on its positive showing this year, but, as I am sure Bill and others will agree, there is significantly more work to be done by the government to improve the regulatory environment that support economic growth and job creation.
Many will debate the findings of the Doing Business report. In my view, if Doing Business stirs this kind of discussion among us, if it alerts us, and challenges us to further improve the regulatory processes and the legal framework in which small and medium enterprises operate, then I believe Doing Business has achieved its purpose.
Maraming salamat po.