Sofia, November 4, 2010 — Bulgaria keeps 51st position in this year global Doing Business ranking according to Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs, the eighth in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World Bank. The report launched last night measures the ease of doing business in 183 economies worldwide as per nine indicators*. Bulgaria made improvements in two areas — paying taxes by reducing employer contribution rates for social security and in starting a business by reducing the minimum capital requirement from 5,000 leva to 2 leva. Dealing with construction permits, however, remains an area where Bulgaria continues to lag behind globally.
Among the new EU member states, Hungary improved business regulations the most in the past year thus climbing six places to 46th in the ranking for making reforms in four areas of doing business. Hungary is also one of the 10 best performers globally this year. Important reforms were introduced in Lithuania and Slovenia with Lithuania moving into the top 25 by improving in five of nine areas measured by Doing Business — more than any other economy. In doing so, it joined its high-ranking Baltic neighbors Estonia and Latvia.
In the past five years about 85 percent of the world’s economies have made it easier for local entrepreneurs to operate, through 1,511 improvements to business regulation. Doing Business 2011 pioneers a new measure showing how much business regulation has changed in 174 economies since 2005. By this measure, Georgia has been the most active worldwide in reforming business regulation.
For eight consecutive years, Eastern Europe and Central Asia has been the most active region in improving business regulation for domestic firms. In the past many changes were driven by the prospect of joining the European Union. More recently, the financial crisis has triggered new activity. This past year 21 of 25 economies improved business regulation for local firms.
“The economies most affected by the financial crisis—especially in Eastern Europe—have been targeting regulatory reforms over the past year to make it easier for small and medium-size enterprises to recover and to create jobs,” said Svetlana Bagaudinova, an author of the report. Half the reforms to insolvency procedures captured by the report in the past year took place in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Measures making it easier to start up, to reorganize, and to pay taxes were also common.
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 closing a business. 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, skill level, 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. For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit www.doingbusiness.org
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), 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.
* Rankings for previous years have been adjusted to reflect the exclusion of indicators for employing workers from the country ranking. In this way Bulgaria’s ranking remains unchanged compared to its 2010 ranking.