The Maldives slipped one position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business report for 2018, ranking 136 out of 190 economies.
The only reform enacted during the one-year review period ending on June 1, 2017 was the introduction of an online system for filing and paying taxes.
The Maldives fell from 128 to 135 in last year’s report due to data revisions related to paying taxes, gender dimension and protection of minority investors and the lack of reforms compared to peer economies.
“Simplified procedures would go a long way in enabling the creation of more and better jobs for the Maldivian youth while also inspiring entrepreneurship,” Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, advised at the time.
The report identified areas where the business environment posed challenges to the private sector. The Maldives was the only South Asian economy with a minimum capital requirement for starting a business.
The annual Doing Business report released last Tuesday aims to provide an objective measures of the regulatory environment for a small and medium-sized company, based on indicators such as 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.
The Maldives is ranked below India and Nepal but slightly above the South Asian average distance to frontier score of 53.64. The DTF shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies in the Doing Business sample since 2005.
On a scale from 0 to 100, zero represents the lowest performance and 100 represents the frontier. The ease of doing business ranking ranges from 1 to 190.
New Zealand remains the easiest place to do business followed by Singapore and Denmark.
The Maldives was meanwhile ranked second in South Asia after Bangladesh in the Global Gender Gap index released by the World Economic Forum last week.
The Maldives was the only South Asian country that fully closed its Educational Attainment gender gap, also making progress on estimated earned income and across the Political Empowerment subindex.