Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan down in World Bank survey

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The increasing difficulty in getting credit and complicated tax return procedures dragged down Taiwan’s showing this year in the 14th edition of the World Bank’s annual Doing Business survey

Taiwan dropped four notches to 15th place in the survey of 190 economies, coming in behind regional trade rivals such as Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

The Doing Business survey measures regulatory quality and efficiency in areas such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Taiwan’s getting credit ranking slumped by 28 notches to 90th place, while paying tax gauge deteriorated by 26 points to 56th place, according to the survey.

The World Bank attributed the downward adjustments to the rights of creditors losing out to concern over taxes and wages.

It takes a long time for authorities to review and process corporate tax returns, the bank’s report said.

However, Taiwan made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic filing system and made exporting easier by allowing different organizations to electronically issue certificates of origin, it said.

It also noted the changes to Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) passed late last year that increased the number of mandatory paid annual leave days and the number of weekly rest days.

The National Development Council said in light of the World Bank survey it would urge the Financial Supervisory Commission to loosen lending rules so that foreign companies can obtain credit more easily when investing in Taiwan.

It would also ask the Ministry of Finance to streamline the applications for tax returns and coordinate with other agencies to speed up reviews for starting a business and phase out obsolete requirements, the council said.

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