TBILISI, October 25, 2016 – Georgia received a ranking of 16 among 190 economies in Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, released today. This year, the country also showed an improvement in the distance to frontier score of 2.48 percentage points; currently 80.20 percent compared to 77.72 percent the previous year.
In the region, Georgia ranks third, with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia being the region’s highest ranked economy, followed by Latvia. Georgia is also among the top 10 global improvers for implementing reforms to their business regulations.
Over the course of the last year, Georgia implemented five reforms in the following areas: Getting Electricity, Registering Property, Protecting Minority Investors, Trading Across Borders, and Paying Taxes.
Georgia improved the reliability of electricity supply by introducing penalties for the utility for having worse scores on the annual system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) and system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) than the previous year, and mandated the notification of customers by the utility of planned electricity outages. The country also improved the quality of land administration by increasing coverage of all maps for privately held land plots in Tbilisi.
The economy strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions and by clarifying ownership and control structures. Georgia made export and import documentary compliance faster by improving its electronic document processing system. It also introduced an advanced electronic document submission option. In the area of Paying Taxes, Georgia abolished additional annex to corporate income tax returns and improved the efficiency of the online system used for filing VAT returns.
“With positive reforms implemented in five topic areas measured by the Doing Business report, Georgia’s upward movement is commendable. The country continues to be among the top reformers, accelerating inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fostering resilience to global shocks,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director to the South Caucasus.
This year’s report includes, for the first time, a gender dimension in three indicators: Starting a Business, Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts. Europe and Central Asia is the only region where there are no barriers against women in the areas measured by the report. For example, in every economy in the region, including Georgia, women can start a business in the same way as men.
The report also includes an expansion to the Paying Taxes indicator, which now covers post-filing processes, such as tax audits and VAT refunds. Georgia performs well in these areas. For example, it takes about 2 hours to comply with a corporate income tax audit, compared to about 9 hours on average for the rest of the region.
Doing Business 2017 is the 14th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies. Doing Business measures aspects of regulation affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: 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.
Doing Business also measures features of labor market regulation, which is not included in the ranking. Data in Doing Business 2017 are current as of June 1, 2016. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
The full report and accompanying datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org
 The distance to frontier score aids in assessing the absolute level of regulatory performance and how it improves over time. This measure shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies in the Doing Business sample since 2005. This allows users both to see the gap between a particular economy’s performance and the best performance at any point in time and to assess the absolute change in the economy’s regulatory environment over time as measured by Doing Business. An economy’s distance to frontier is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 represents the frontier.