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Regulatory Reforms for Improving the Business Environment in Selected Asian Economies - How Monitoring and Comparative Benchmarking Can Provide Incentive for Reform

The determinants of a business friendly environment that underpin rapid and sustained economic growth include the macroeconomic and financial market environments, infrastructure, labor market skills and efficiency, and governance and institutions. Obtaining licenses and credit to start a business, finding and managing labor, ensuring investor protection, enforcing contracts, paying taxes, trading across borders, and identifying the requirements for closing a business are all important factors in assessing the operating climate for doing business. By comparative benchmarking, this paper examines these determinants in six developing Asian economies—the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam—and compares them with similar indicators for five benchmark economies—the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; and Singapore; and the developed economies of Japan and the United States. This paper also identifies areas where reform has taken place and where further efforts are needed, such as addressing policy uncertainties, the quality of governance and legal and institutional frameworks, and inadequate regulatory capacity. Attending to these shortcomings will require policymakers to implement structural reforms that improve efficiency and competitiveness by (i) minimizing unnecessary regulatory barriers in business activities, (ii) encouraging private incentives and market discipline, (iii) creating a level playing field across all sectors, and (iv) fostering competition to upgrade institutional capacity. This paper argues that the regular monitoring of relevant indicators and comparative benchmarking can (i) provide important incentive structures that encourage the sharing and implementation of good practices through peer pressure mechanisms and (ii) serve as a starting point for dialogue between government and the private sector on reform priorities that can improve the business environment.

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration with number 40.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0040
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  1. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Chanthapun, Waranya Pim, 2009. "Exchange Rate Regimes in the Asia-Pacific Region and the Global Financial Crisis," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 36, Asian Development Bank.
  2. Lee, Jong-Wha & Park, Cyn-Young, 2008. "Global Financial Turmoil: Impact and Challenges for Asia's Financial Systems," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 18, Asian Development Bank.
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  7. Plummer, Michael G., 2006. "Toward Win-Win Regionalism in Asia: Issues and Challenges in Forming Efficient Trade Agreements," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 5, Asian Development Bank.
  8. Lee, Chee Sung & Park, Cyn-Young, 2009. "Beyond the Crisis: Financial Regulatory Reform in Emerging Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 34, Asian Development Bank.
  9. Kim, Soyoung & Lee, Jong-Wha & Park, Cyn-Young, 2009. "Emerging Asia: Decoupling or Recoupling," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 31, Asian Development Bank.
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  11. Rigg, Robert & Schou-Zibell, Lotte, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and Money Markets in Emerging Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 38, Asian Development Bank.
  12. Menon, Jayant & Melendez-Nakamura, Anna, 2009. "Aging in Asia: Trends,Impacts and Responses," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 25, Asian Development Bank.
  13. Malcom Dowling & Ganeshan Wignaraja, 2006. "Central Asia after fifteen years of transition: growth, regional cooperation, and policy choices," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 13(2), pages 113-144, December.
  14. Kawai, Masahiro & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2008. "Regionalism as an Engine of Multilateralism: A Case for a Single East Asian FTA," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 14, Asian Development Bank.
  15. Menon, Jayant, 2009. "Managing Success in Viet Nam: Macroeconomic Consequences of Large Capital Inflows with Limited Policy Tools," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 27, Asian Development Bank.
  16. Capannelli, Giovanni & Lee, Jong-Wha & Petri, Peter, 2009. "Developing Indicators for Regional Economic Integration and Cooperation," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 33, Asian Development Bank.
  17. Kim, Soyoung & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2008. "Real and Financial Integration in East Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 17, Asian Development Bank.
  18. Schou-Zibell, Lotte & Wells, Stephen, 2008. "India's Bond Market-Developments and Challenges Ahead," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 22, Asian Development Bank.
  19. Menon, Jayant, 2008. "Cambodia's Persistent Dollarization: Causes and Policy Options," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 19, Asian Development Bank.
  20. Park, Donghyun & Park, Innwon & Estrada, Gemma Esther B., 2008. "Is the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA) an Optimal Free Trade Area?," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 21, Asian Development Bank.
  21. Warr, Peter & Menon, Jayant & Yusuf, Arief Anshory, 2009. "Regional Economic Impacts of Cross-Border Infrastructure: A General Equilibrium Application to Thailand and Lao PDR," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 35, Asian Development Bank.
  22. Qin, Duo & Cagas, Marie Anne & Ducanes, Geoffrey & Magtibay-Ramos, Nedelyn & Quising, Pilipinas F., 2007. "Measuring Regional Market Integration in Developing Asia: a Dynamic Factor Error Correction Model (DF-ECM) Approach," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 8, Asian Development Bank.
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