Vietnam has slid one place to 99th on a slightly enlarged World Bank business-friendliness index.
The country actually improved in the "distance to frontier" measure created by evaluating the best performers, but the list this year has 189 economies compared to 183 last year.
Vietnam's 38.87 percentage points distance represents an improvement of 0.69 points.
The bank's latest "Doing Business" study, which analyzes the period from July 2012 to June this year, said Vietnam has improved protection for investors by mandating greater disclosure by listed companies about related-party transactions.
In the category of "protecting investors," one of the 10 the bank focuses on to rank economies, the country moved up 12 places to 157th.
The country issued its first private credit bureau license during the period.
Though Vietnam has implemented the highest number of reforms in the East Asia and Pacific since 2005, a World Bank press release said, its ranking "has not improved much over the years."
It "needs to do even more."
Vietnam's rankings were also low in the categories of starting a business (109th), paying taxes (149th), resolving insolvency (149th), and getting electricity (156th).
Besides first-placed Singapore, Vietnam also trails several countries in the region like Brunei, China, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Malaysia has climbed to sixth position, its first ever entry into the top 10.
Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment