Singapore tops annual ranking of 185 economies on the ease of doing business, with Poland, Sri Lanka, and Greece among those registering the biggest improvements.
2013 Doing Business report says local entrepreneurs around the world are finding it’s easier to do business today than at any time in the last 10 years.
Research suggests a link between simplifying the business start-up process and an increase in firm creation and job creation.
October 22, 2012—Entrepreneurs around the world are finding it’s easier to do business today than at any time in the last 10 years – a trend likely to result in more jobs.
That’s a key message of the just-released joint World Bank and IFC 2013 Doing Business Report—an annual measure of 185 economies on the ease of starting and operating a local business.
While Singapore topped the global ranking for the seventh year in a row (see chart for list of top 10) most economies measured have made improvements in the business climate. Since 2005, the average time to start a business has fallen from 50 days to 30--and in low -income economies the average has been reduced by half.
Poland led the top 10 economies registering the biggest improvements in the ease of doing business over the last year, followed by Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan.
Simpler and streamlined business regulations, along with technological improvements such as online business registration, mean it’s easier to start a business than it was eight years ago, says Rita Ramalho, program manager Doing Business Unit at the World Bank Group.
And, “We’re seeing that friendlier business regulations – particularly simplifying them and streamlining business regulatory processes—have a positive impact on job creation,” she says.
“For example, Mexico’s move to simplify business registration in the early 2000s resulted in a 5% increase in registrations and a 2.2% increase in employment,” she says. “Research suggests a link between simplifying the business start-up process and an increase in firm creation and job creation. We see the association that on average, the countries with more efficient business regulations as measured by Doing Business have higher growth rates,” says Ramalho.
Developing countries’ efforts to reform business regulations in the last several years are starting to pay off, says the report, first published in 2003. Over 10 years, smarter business regulation has been seen as supporting economic growth, and simpler business registration as promoting greater entrepreneurship and firm productivity. Lower-cost registration has improved formal employment opportunities.
Doing Business: Getting Easier Around the World Infographic
The report includes a case study on Rwanda, which recovered from genocide and civil war in the 1990s to be dubbed by the Economist as “Africa’s new Singapore” in 2010.
Rwanda is among the 30 plus economies that have created special units to focus on indicators monitored by Doing Business, such as the average time it takes to start a business, transfer property, build a warehouse, or get connected to electricity. Some 17 countries in Africa are among the most improved over the last eight years.
“Doing Business is about smart business regulations, not necessarily fewer regulations,” says Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “We are very encouraged that so many economies in Africa are among the 50 that have made the most improvement since 2005 as captured by the Doing Business indicators.”
Eastern Europe and Central Asia was the most active region, after high-income Among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, in improving the business climate.
Continued economic uncertainty in the aftermath of the financial crisis is also speeding reform, says Ramalho. Among OECD countries, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece increased their business regulatory reform momentum in the past year in terms of business regulation, with Greece among the top 10 most improved.
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