Myanmar no longer the world’s worst country to start a business, says World Bank

Is that the sound of popping bottles we hear?

Last year, the World Bank placed Myanmar at the very bottom of a ranking of countries based on the ease of starting a business.

But this year’s updated version of the  Doing Business 2016: Measuring Quality and Efficiency survey, unveiled yesterday, revealed the country has jumped 189th (out of 189) to 167th.

The leap makes Myanmar the world’s most improved nation. It’s still pretty woeful compared to regional neighbors – Singapore is in first place.

While corruption, infrastructure woes and bureaucratic headaches still plague would-be investors, reforms introduced since the transition to semi-civilian government in 2012 seem to have have made a difference.

Examples cited include the reduction in time need to install electricity in Yangon and the removal of capital requirements needed to start a local company.

It’s probably a little early to celebrate, though. The report cited some of the massive problems that remain, including the courts for their “slow and costly dispute resolution paired with low-quality judicial processes.”

In Myanmar, a local company usually struggles to enforce a contact through the courts for about three years. In Singapore, the average time is 150 days.

Photo / Flickr /  Michael Verhoef

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