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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     11-12 November  2011

Philippines, Asia’s worst place for doing business’, WB Report

The Philippines Government is continuing efforts to improve the process of doing business in the Philippines, the presidential palace said on 10 November 2011 noting that tagging the country as Asia’s worst place to setting up a business has a positive ring to it.

“I think there’s also a positive mention and report on that. We recognize that we need to improve our business processes and that’s the reason why we have done so in certain areas," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing.

The Department of Trade and Industry continues to enhance business registration processes while the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo is promoting best practices in local government units, he noted.

“We have the business registration enhanced in the DTI. We continue to do so and we’re also having some best practices in local government. So that is something that Secretary [Jesse] Robredo is dealing with and discussing with some local government officials," he said.

The Philippines is the most difficult Asian country to do business in, according to a report from news network CNBC.

The CNBC report, based on the World Bank’s “Ease of doing business” report, also ranked the Philippines as the fourth worst place for business on a global scale. Two other Asian countries — India and Indonesia — made it to the CNBC list at sixth and seventh place, respectively.

CNBC noted the Philippines attracted only 2.5 percent of the $76.5-billion foreign direct investments that flowed to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' 10 members in 2010.

“Foreign businesses are wary of the Philippine’s unstable legal system, violence, and bureaucracy. Its ease of doing business ranking from the World Bank fell a further two spots this year from 2010," the business news agency explained.

It also noted that the Philippines ranks among the lowest in starting a business and resolving insurgency. The latter takes more than five and a half years compared with the average one year and seven months in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, CNBC said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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