Cambodia's ranking in the ease of doing business index has slipped four years in a row since 2016, said the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report released on Thursday.
The Kingdom slipped six notches in the index, ranking 144th out of 190 countries with a score of 53.8, down from 138th for 2019 – at 54.8 points.
Last year, the Kingdom took 135th, down from 131st out of 190 in 2017 and from 127th (out of 189) in 2016.
The 2020 ranking is based on 10 areas including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
“Cambodia made starting a business more expensive by increasing the costs associated with business registration at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training,” said the report.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Sunday that the government has made significant efforts to facilitate doing business, which have resulted in the Kingdom’s economy growing seven per cent annually for more than a decade.
“The government has done quite a lot to make [doing business in the Kingdom] easier. Businesses can now be registered online, and that already makes things easier,” he said.
He said Cambodia’s decline in the ranking could be attributed to the better performance of other countries, not because of the Kingdom’s poor performance.
“With all the measures we’ve put into action and are implementing well today, I can only see [economic] growth, but it could be that they [other countries] have been doing better than us, knocking us down in the ranking,” he said.
Cambodia needs to focus more on technology and Industry 4.0 as the Kingdom is far behind other countries in the region, he said.
The report put Cambodia only better than Laos, which is ranked at 154th, and Myanmar (165th) in Asean. Singapore stands at second, Malaysia 12th, Thailand 21st, Brunei 66th, Vietnam 70th, Indonesia 73rd and the Philippines 95th.
New Zealand is at the top of the table, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, the US, Georgia, the UK, Norway and Sweden, while Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, Eritrea and Somalia rounded out the bottom of the list.
Additional reporting by Thou Vireak