Brunei Ascends to 84th Place in Ease of Doing Business


BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: Key performance indicators showed impressive growth in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report 2016 (DB2016), underscoring the strong resolve of the government and resilience of the Brunei’s economy, ©BRUDIRECT.COM

The Sultanate became the most improved country alongside Costa Rica and Kenya in the bank’s 13th annual report entitled ‘Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency’, thanks to the concerted efforts across the government over the past year to drive Brunei’s business environment through systematic reforms in
processes, regulations and laws.

In the Ease of Doing Business index, Brunei Darussalam is now ranked 84th, an increase of 21 positions from 2015 with a ‘Distance to Frontier’ (DTF) score that increased from 58.02 in DB2015 to 62.93 in DB2016.

Other key indicators that have increased in ranking include Paying Taxes (16th in DB2016 from 30th in DB2015); Dealing With Construction Permits (21st in DB2016 from 53rd in DB2015); Getting Credit (79th in DB2016 from 89th in DB2015), Enforcing Contracts (113rd in DB2016 from 139th in DB2015); and Registering Property (148th in DB2016 from 162nd in DB2015).

With the surge in ranking, Brunei Darussalam has now also leapt two positions to become the 4th among Asean countries behind Singapore, which has held the top ranking for eight consecutive years; Malaysia (18th) and Thailand (49th).

The World Bank’s flagship report measures and ranks the ease of doing business in 189 participating economies. The jump in the Doing Business rankings this year is the result of the visionary leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni AlMarhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam who initiated the effort to turn around the economy in his titah in March 2014.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji AlMuhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office as the Chairman of PENGGERAK has been leading the drive to implement the all-new ease of doing business reforms across government.

The main contributor to Brunei Darussalam’s increase in rankings this year is the `Starting A Business’ indicator, which saw a significant jump of 105 positions to place Brunei Darussalam at 74th compared to last year’s 179th. The process to start a business in Brunei has improved dramatically since the beginning of the year through the elimination of the miscellaneous licensing requirements and streamlining of other steps.

The jump in ranking indicates that the government is currently making significant progress towards reducing gaps in regulatory quality and rate of reform relative to other economies. This will not only help push the improvement of the country’s future ranking, but more importantly, will enable and facilitate the efficient functioning of businesses and markets, significantly contributing to the implementation of the strategies outlined to achieve and fulfil Brunei Darussalam’s Vision 2035, a statement issued by the Secretariat, Ease of Doing Business Steering Committee, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The Government of His Majesty is serious about changing the business environment on the ground and is committed to making improvements that will benefit businesses.

The government also aims to ensure that it is easy and cheap to do business in Brunei in order to be competitive in the region and to further improve the international rankings, the statement added.

The top 10 performers in this year’s Doing Business Report, in order of ranking, are Singapore, New Zealand, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong SAR, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Finland.