Doing Business 2011: Central Asian Economies among Global Leaders
in Improving Business Regulation
(please note: this press release includes Poland's profile)
Washington, D.C., November 4, 2010—Among the world’s economies, Kazakhstan improved business regulation the most in the past year, 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.
Kazakhstan improved conditions for starting a business, obtaining construction permits, protecting investors, and trading across borders. As a result, it moved up 15 places in the rankings on the ease of doing business—to 59 among 183 economies. Tajikistan and Hungary, also among the 10 most-improved economies, climbed 10 places and six places respectively. The Czech Republic moved up 19 places, to 63.
Lithuania moved into the top 25 by improving in five of nine areas measured by Doing Business in the past year—more than any other economy. In doing so, it joined its high-ranking Baltic neighbors Estonia Latvia, and Georgia.
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 Neil Gregory, Acting Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. 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.
Poland’s ranking in Doing Business 2011 improved slightly from 72nd place in 2010 to 70th place this year. Poland’s position improved thanks to a number of reforms undertaken by the Polish Government and recognized by the Doing Business 2011 ranking. Specifically, Poland accelerated the process of property registration by computerizing its land registry and cut down on the number of tax payments required from small and medium enterprises. The time needed to file taxes has also shortened. However, Poland’s position on a number other indicators of the ranking has not improved, especially as regards dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts.
“This year’s Doing Business report recognizes the Polish Government’s commitment to improving the business climate in Poland. During the last year important improvements have been achieved in a number of crucial areas such as paying taxes and registering property. However, other areas would benefit from further reforms. Some of these areas were the subject of a recent World Bank Reform Memorandum commissioned by the Ministry of Economy. The study has identified a number of policy reforms, which could enhance the quality of the business environment in Poland, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes and protecting investors. The World Bank has been and will continue to support the government in its efforts to further improve the business environment in Poland, including through helping to reform such areas as enforcing contracts and closing a business.”- said Thomas Laursen, Country Manager for Poland and Baltic Countries.
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.