KUALA LUMPUR: Although Malaysia slipped one notch in the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2018, it was lauded as one of the top economies to record successes in business regulatory reforms.
Malaysia is now ranked 24th among 190 economies.
Some of the succeses singled out include strengthened access to credit through the new Companies Act 2016.
It also improved in terms of protecting minority investor through greater corporate transparency.
Malaysia is the fourth best country for protection of minority investors.
Improved infrastructure facilities at Port Klang were also noted as the improvements have eased the handling processes at the terminal and facilitated import and export processes.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said a total of 23 reforms had been undertaken since these rankings started 15 years ago.
"These reforms sent a strong signal of Malaysia's commitment to reduce regulatory burden to ensure our laws will encourage especially the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)," he said in a statement.
He also noted the room for improvement.
For example, under the Starting a Business indicator, the Companies Act 1965 was completely overhauled last year.
Several requirements which had made the incorporation process complicated in the past especially for SMEs have been removed.
"The Act has been modernised now on par with global standards.
"However, these reforms have not been acknowledged yet in the report as the measures were only implemented during the first half of 2017 and thus have not produced tangible results."
Likewise there was progress under the Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts indicators.
Mustapa cautioned that the slight drop in the ranking indicates that other countries have been successful in implementing deeper reforms at a much faster pace.
"We need to do more and move faster in pushing through further reforms to improve our business regulatory environment."