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PRESS RELEASE

China Leads East Asia and Pacific in Improving Business Regulation since 2005

October 28, 2013

Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013—A World Bank Group report finds that in the year from June 2012 to June 2013, China made it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business by implementing regulatory reforms in two areas tracked by the report.

Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises finds that China reformed in the areas of getting credit and enforcing contracts. It implemented new credit information industry regulations that guarantee borrowers’ right to inspect their own credit data. And it amended its civil procedure code to streamline and speed up court proceedings, increasing the efficiency of enforcing contracts through the courts.

Since 2005, the report finds, China has implemented 18 regulatory reforms making it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business. Thanks to these reforms, China has narrowed the gap with global good practices the most in East Asia and the Pacific since 2005—and is among the 20 economies worldwide making the greatest progress in that period.

“Over the years, governments have made important strides in improving the business regulatory environment and narrowing the gap with global good practices,” said Rita Ramalho, Lead Author, Doing Business, World Bank Group. “China’s achievements since 2005 are remarkable. They show the government’s strong commitment to creating a better business regulatory environment for Chinese entrepreneurs.”

The report’s global annual ranking on the ease of doing business puts Singapore in the top slot. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.

In addition to the global rankings, every year Doing Business reports the economies that have improved the most on the indicators since the previous year. The 10 economies topping that list this year are (in order of improvement) Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala. Yet challenges persist: five of this year’s top improvers—Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, the Philippines, and Ukraine—are still in the bottom half of the global ranking on the ease of doing business.

About the Doing Business report series

The joint World Bank and IFC flagship Doing Business report analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 189 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability, the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. This year’s report marks the 11th edition of the global Doing Business report series and covers 189 economies. For more information about the Doing Business reports, please visit doingbusiness.org and join us on doingbusiness.org/Facebook.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.