MANILA - The Philippines slipped from 99th place to 113th among 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business, the World Bank said on Wednesday in its "Doing Business 2018" report.
The multilateral lender however clarified that "this rank is not comparable to the one published in the Doing Business 2017 report, because of methodology refinements."
The World Bank noted that the Philippines improved its business regulations last year, but despite the continued reforms, small and medium-sized businesses still face significant regulatory challenges.
It said there was still room for further improvements especially in the areas of enforcing contracts, protecting minority investors and starting a business.
Compared to its Asian neighbors, the Philippines is behind Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and regional average for East Asia and the Pacific in terms of ease of starting a business.
The lender also noted that the pace of reforms is faster in many other countries, including in several regional neighbors.
New Zealand was ranked as the top country where it was easiest to do business, followed by Singapore, Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Venezuela, Eritrea and Somalia meanwhile were at the bottom.