Washington D.C., October 20, 2011 – A new report from IFC and the World Bank finds that 17 of 32 economies in Latin America and the Caribbean implemented regulatory reforms in the past year to make doing business easier for local entrepreneurs. Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico remain in the lead in improving business regulations in the region, with new technologies playing a key role in improving transparency and access to information across the region.
Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks them in 10 areas of business regulation, such as resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year, the rankings on ease of doing business were expanded to include indicators on getting electricity connections.
The report shows Chile as the regional leader in the ease of doing business, ranking 39th globally. Chile improved by introducing immediate temporary operating licenses for new companies and launching an electronic data interchange system for trade. Peru, which ranks 41st, strengthened investor protections and abolished the start-up capital requirement for small businesses.
Colombia is among the top 12 economies worldwide that have improved the ease of doing business the most in 2010/2011. Colombia, ranked 42nd, made it easier to start a business, pay taxes, and resolve insolvency.
Over the past six years, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been among the 40 economies worldwide that have done the most to improve their regulatory environments for entrepreneurs. This year, Mexico continued its consistent efforts to improve regulation for businesses by easing the administrative burden of paying taxes, enhancing access to credit, and easing the process of getting construction permits, and improved in the global rankings to 53.
“Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to adopt new technologies to make life easier for local businesses,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “They have made it easier to pay taxes, get credit, trade across borders, and register property.”
Five of the seven regional economies that made paying taxes easier did so by improving electronic filing systems. Paraguay and Uruguay improved their credit information systems by introducing online platforms allowing access to credit reports for financial institutions. Technology supported trade reforms in Chile and Honduras.
“Economic activity is supported by rules that increase efficiency and transparency and are accessible to all,” said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. New data show that governments around the world are making use of new technologies to facilitate access to relevant information and increase transparency in business regulation. In Latin America, 25 economies make documentation requirements for trade available either online or via public notices. Transparency and efficiency often go hand-in-hand. Globally, trade processes are on average twice as fast in economies where documentation requirements are easily accessible.
About the Doing Business report series
Doing Business 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 183 economies. Previous year’s rankings are back-calculated to account for the addition of new indicator(s), data corrections, and methodology changes in existing indicators so as to provide a meaningful comparison with the new rankings. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, the level of skills, or the strength of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies.
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.