Malaysia Still Among Easiest Cities To Do Business, Says World Bank
Despite going through an economically tumultuous year, Malaysia still finds itself in the top 25 countries to do business, according to the World Bank.
In the Doing Business 2017 report, the country ranked 23rd, down a notch from last year, in terms of the ease of doing business.
Despite the drop, the country was ahead of Switzerland (31st), France (29th), the Netherlands (28th), the United Arab Emirates (26th), Japan (34th), China (78th) and India (130th).
Malaysia was also ahead of most of its Southeast Asian peers, including Thailand and Indonesia, only trailing Singapore, which came at no.2 overall.
Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Belarus and Indonesia made the biggest strides in business-friendly reforms, while leading the index is New Zealand.
The World Bank ranks economies on their ease of doing business, from 1 to 190. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic.
For the first time, the Washington-based development lender took gender factors into consideration in assessing how easy it is to start a business, register property and enforce contracts.
Despite its prestige, the index and its methods have faced criticism. An independent panel appointed by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim found it used a narrow source of information and had the potential to be misinterpreted, according to a 2013 report.
The rankings shouldn’t be used to apply a one-size-fits-all template for development, the panel found.