Vietnam needs to further reform its business regulatory climate if it hopes to reach the level of other economies in the Asia-Pacific region, World Bank country director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said on October 23 at the launch of a new report of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Entitled Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the annual report evaluates the ease of doing business around the world by assessing the complexity and costs of regulatory processes and the strength of legal institutions in each country.

The report ranked Vietnam 99th out of 185 economies worldwide, unchanged from last year's report.

Singapore topped the global rankings on ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year and China made great strides in improving business regulations for local enterprises to be ranked second, followed by New Zealand, the US and Denmark.

In the past eight years, Vietnam has carried out institutional or regulatory reforms in eight of the 10 areas of business regulation covered by the report. However, Kwakwa noted, other countries in the region have made more rigorous improvements than Vietnam .

The report showed that Vietnam ranked 28th and 40th in terms of dealing with construction permits and obtaining credit, respectively. Meanwhile, the country ranked below 100 in five out of ten indicators, including starting a business (108th), access to electricity (155th), protecting investors (169th), taxation (138th) and bankruptcy proceedings (149th).

World Bank experts said procedures should be further simplified while information needed to be made accessible to everyone, improving transparency and reducing opportunities for corruption.-VNA