Taiwan improved two spots to 13th among 190 economies worldwide and fifth in the Asia-Pacific, according to the Doing Business 2019 report released Oct. 31 by Washington-based World Bank.

Scoring 80.9 out of 100, up 0.24 of a point from the previous edition, Taiwan finished ahead of regional neighbors Malaysia, 15th; Australia, 18th; and Japan, 39th, but trailed New Zealand, first; Singapore, second; Hong Kong, fourth; and South Korea, fifth.

Of the report’s 10 assessment categories, Taiwan fared best in dealing with construction permits at 87.11 for second globally. It also performed well in getting electricity, 96.32 for eighth; and protecting minority investors, 75 for 15th.

Taiwan’s strong construction permit showing was attributed by the World Bank to improving the efficiency of the single window counter operated by Taipei City Government’s Construction Management Office, as well as strengthening minority investor protection via enhancing ownership and control structures in listed companies.

In response, the Cabinet-level National Development Council said the government is enhancing Taiwan’s business environment through such measures as easing regulations on company registration and recognition, and streamlining application procedures.

Regarding the categories in which Taiwan dropped back—getting credit and trading across borders—the NDC said it will continue working closely with the Financial Supervisory Commission and Ministry of Finance in fast-tracking reforms related to movable property transactions, as well as import and export customs clearances.

First released in 2003, the annual report is widely considered a reliable measure of how regulations affect small and medium enterprises based on standardized case scenarios in the largest business city of each economy.

〔Original :Taiwan Today〕