YANGON, Myanmar – Touted with fanfare as Asia’s last major frontier market, a new World Bank reports ranks Myanmar as one of the hardest countries in the world to start a business.
The desperately poor but resource-rich nation was for the first time included in the bank’s “Doing Business” report, which looks at obstacles and opportunities to setting up shop in 189 countries.
Myanmar, which started opening its economy two years ago, was ranked 182, trailed by countries like Eritrea, Chad and Sudan.
The bank cites the high costs of setting up business and cumbersome procedures. It also takes 72 days to register a company compared with less than three in nearby Singapore.
Old laws have yet to be replaced and the country is better only than Timor Leste at enforcing contracts.