VN Economic Times
According to the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business report released yesterday in Washington D.C., economies in the East Asia and Pacific region are steadily making progress to ease the process of doing business.
Vietnam ranked 82nd this year in the Doing Business Report after ranking 91st last time.
This year’s report covers 190 economies, with the inclusion of Somalia. For the first time, Doing Business 2017 includes a gender dimension in three indicators: starting a business, registering property, and enforcing contracts. The report found that the majority of East Asia and Pacific economies do not have gender-based barriers.
Economies in the East Asia and Pacific region perform best in the Doing Business areas of obtaining credit (with an average rank of 77), dealing with construction permits (79), and gaining electricity access (82).
Multiple economies in the region implemented three or more reforms in the past year, including Indonesia (seven reforms), Brunei Darussalam (six), Vanuatu (four), and Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand (three each).
“New reforms tackling multiple barriers to business in the East Asia and Pacific region are stepping stones to enhancing business activities,” said Ms. Rita Ramalho, Manager of the Doing Business Report.
Challenges remain, particularly in the areas of starting a business (with an average rank of 106), trading across borders (103), and enforcing contracts (102).
Earlier this month the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Economic Update (October 2016 edition) was released, with growth in developing East Asia and Pacific expected to remain resilient over the next three years at 5.8 per cent in 2016 and 5.7 per cent in 2017-2018.
The report said the region still faces significant risks to growth and countries need to take measures to reduce financial and fiscal vulnerabilities. Meanwhile in its Global Economic Prospects report, released on June 7 in Washington D.C., Vietnam is still expected to grow by 6.3 per cent in the 2016-2018 period due to foreign investment being poured into its cost-competitive manufacturing industry.
The World Bank also predicted that Vietnam will have to address a large budget deficit. State-owned enterprise (SOE) reform, which includes improving transparency and governance, will help it reduce associated fiscal risks.
A significant increase in private sector credit, fueled by an era of low interest rates and, more recently, rising financing needs, raise potential risks for several emerging markets and developing economies, the report noted.
“As advanced economies struggle to gain traction, most economies in South and East Asia are growing solidly, as are commodity-importing emerging economies around the world,” the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu wrote.
|Economy||Rank (1–190)||Distance to frontier score (0–100)||# Reforms|
|Hong Kong SAR, China||5||4||83.77||84.21||4||2|
|Micronesia, Fed. Sts.||148||151||49.48||49.48||0||0|
|Papua New Guinea||133||119||53.92||57.29||1||2|
Source: Doing Business database, October 25, 2016