S. Korea ranks 5th in biz environment: World Bank

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SEJONG, Oct 29 – South Korea ranked fifth in terms of business environment this year thanks to improvements in regulations and the system for starting a business, granting construction permits and protecting minor investors, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

The ranking by the World Bank rose by two notches from that of the previous year, marking the highest since the “Doing Business” report started to be compiled in 2003, according to the ministry.

Every year, the World Bank analyzes 189 countries’ business environments by breaking them down into 10 broad categories involving the business life cycle from start to closure.

South Korea was listed among the top 10 for four consecutive years. It also ranked first among the group of 20 emerging and advanced countries and came in third among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

South Korea saw its ranking climb from 34th to 17th in terms of the environment for starting a business. In construction permits, it came in 12th, up from the previous year’s 18th.

Its ranking in protecting minor investors improved sharply to 21st from the previous year’s 52nd.

In property registration, however, the ranking dropped from 75th to 79th, while its standing in terms of getting credit fell from 13th to 36th.

The finance ministry here expects that the improved ranking in business environment could have a “positive” impact on luring more foreign investment.

The ministry added that it will keep up its efforts to enhance the overall regulations and system to help people start a new business and protect minor investors.

Meanwhile, Singapore maintained its top status in the business environment, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong and Denmark.

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