WB: Doing business in PHL now slightly easier

“Team Philippines" made slight gains in creating a business-friendly environment, but according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 report, the Aquino administration, local governments, and the private sector need to execute reforms right, faster and better so that small and medium enterprises can flourish.

On the scorecard of 11 key areas of business regulation, the country advanced in terms of “getting electricity," “trading across borders" and “enforcing contracts."

Overall though, the Philippines slipped from 134th to 136th in the Doing Business rankings relative to the other 182 countries rated because of it inability to make significant strides fast enough in areas crucial to the life cycles of small and medium enterprises:ease of starting a business

- registering property

- getting credit

- protecting investors

- dealing with construction permits

- paying taxes

- and resolving insolvency.

“We want to be above 50 by 2015," said Guillermo Luz, co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council.

However, to rise in the rankings by 10 to 20 places in a year, Luz said all agencies and sectors engaged in improving the regulatory environment “need to attack several factors all at once and implementation needs to be sustained."

Governance and execution

“Execution is everything," Luz said.

Case in point, according to Hans Shrader, senior program manager of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), is the Philippines’ enactment of a new Insolvency Law.

This reform did not contribute to the country’s ranking because the Aquino administration has not yet constituted the body that will implement the law, Shrader noted.

“Governance is key," said Jesse Ang, IFC resident representative in the Philippines, who likened the competitiveness effort to a basketball team’s quest to compete against the teams of other countries.

Shrader, Luz and Ang acknowledged that the local business environment has improved, but “the Philippines has been slow to enact reforms while other countries have reformed faster" and moved up in the Doing Business rankings.

“We should see better results next year," Luz said, noting that the country rated high in macroeconomic management and that the processing of import and export clearances has moved trade cargoes faster through Customs and the ports.

Luz said Quezon City, the new “proxy city" in the report, has registered over 13,000 new businesses, and some 480 cities have been mobilized in a nationwide effort to streamline business regulations.

The 2011 ranking of the Philippines was recalibrated from 148th to 134th largely because of “changes in methodology" involving the emergence of the new factor, “getting electricity", and presenting Quezon City, instead of Manila, as the “proxy" case study city for the 2012 edition of the Doing Business report.

original source: www.gmanews.tv