Reform of government regulation of private business has been considered a cornerstone of good governance and a necessary condition for economic growth. Part of regulatory reform is reducing and streamlining administrative or procedural regulations imposed on business by government bureaucracies. Such regulations impose burdens on firms in terms of the time and effort required to file forms, delays in processing documents and applications and in granting approvals, transactional costs if charges are levied, and obstacles resulting from arbitrary decisions by government officials during the process. The chapter will consider the burdens on business caused by regulatory procedures imposed by bureaucracy in the countries of Southeast Asia, and how the reform of such procedures has varied across region, with a particular focus on certain key business functions, viz. starting a business, importing and exporting, paying taxes, and constructing a commercial building. The chapter will posit explanations of why such variation exists and will discuss links between reform of regulatory procedures and the level of social and economic development of a country. In conclusion, the scope for reform of regulatory procedures in those countries where they remain especially burdensome, will be examined, with consideration given to what reforms are necessary and feasible.
Jones, D.S. (2008), "Regulatory reform and bureaucracy in Southeast Asia: variations and consequences", Bowornwathana, B. and Wescott, C. (Ed.) Comparative Governance Reform in Asia: Democracy, Corruption, and Government Trust (Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 111-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0732-1317(08)17007-5
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