CAMBODIA’S business environment competitiveness has marginally improved, according to the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 139 countries, but the Kingdom continues to lag far behind its regional neighbours.
The forum’s annual competitiveness study scores 110 factors across 12 areas affecting an economy’s business climate: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health, education, goods and labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
Cambodia, which was ranked 109th, was the worst performer of the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, excluding Laos and Myanmar which were not included in the survey.
This year’s rank is one better than last year’s 110th position.
Singapore was ranked third in the world, behind only Switzerland and Sweden – first and second respectively. The United States fell from its second place in 2009, to fourth place. Japan was the only other Asian nation to make the top 10.
Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia – in order of rank – made it into the top 50, all maintaining a fairly steady grade from last year. Vietnam, however, noticeably improved its position to 59 from 75. The Philippines was the second-worst ASEAN performer, coming in at 85, up from 87.
Of the 111 factors assessed, Cambodia’s standout strengths were ranking 12th in the world for inflation, 15th for total tax rate in the goods market, 33rd for female participation in the workforce, 35th for pay and productivity, and 37th for business impact of rules on foreign direct investment.
Cambodia’s competitiveness continues to be strangled by corruption and inefficient bureaucracy and infrastructure, the study said.
Of 139 countries, the Kingdom ranked 124th for irregular payments and bribes, 125th for transparency in government policy-making and 132nd for time required to start a business.
Its worst grade among the 111 factors was “fixed telephone lines”, for which it ranked the fifth-worst in the world at 135.
In an opinion survey on the most problematic factors for doing business in their country, found corruption topped the list in Cambodia, closely by inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequately educated workforce and inadequate infrastructure.