World Bank Report Finds that More Economies Implemented Business Reforms in 2010-2011
Washington D.C., October 20, 2011—A new IFC and World Bank report finds that economies continued to implement reforms that enhance local firms’ ability to do business, with transparency and access to information playing a key role in the reforms.
Released today, Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2010 through May 2011. The report rankings on ease of doing business have expanded to include indicators on getting electricity. The report finds that getting an electrical connection is most efficient in Iceland; Germany; Taiwan, China; Hong Kong SAR, China; and Singapore.
The report shows that governments in 125 economies out of 183 measured implemented a total of 245 business regulatory reforms—13 percent more reforms than in the previous year. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a record 36 out of 46 economies improved business regulations this year. Over the past six years, 163 economies have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. China, India, and the Russian Federation are among the 30 economies that improved the most over time.
This year, Singapore led on the overall ease of doing business, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; and Denmark. The Republic of Korea was a new entrant to the top 10.
FYR Macedonia: Rank in Doing Business 2012: 22 Rank in Doing Business 2011: 34
FYR Macedonia is the 3rd most improved economy in the world this year. It moved 12 places from the 34th to the 22nd place. The top 12 economies that have improved the ease of doing business the most across several areas of regulation as measured by the report are Morocco, Moldova, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Latvia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Burundi, the Solomon Islands, the Republic of Korea, Armenia, and Colombia.
FYR Macedonia made progress in four areas measured by the report: dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit (credit information), and resolving insolvency. It made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining procedures and transferring oversight processes to the private sector. It made property registration easier by reducing notary fees and enforcing the time limits established in the Law on Real Estate Cadastre. The establishment of a private credit bureau improved the credit information system. And legislative amendments increased the transparency of the bankruptcy process.
A new measure that looks at how economies changed their business regulations over the past six years shows that all economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have made their regulatory environments more business-friendly. “Research shows that a streamlined business regulatory environment helps a country’s economic growth,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “By simplifying regulations and expanding access to credit, countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia continue to enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs.”
Doing Business 2012 includes a case study on FYR Macedonia (one of the four country case studies published in the report). It recognizes that FYR Macedonia is among the 10 economies that made the biggest strides in creating a regulatory environment more favorable to business in the past 6 years. It moved up in the global ranking on the ease of doing business from 81 in Doing Business 2006 to 22 in this year’s report.
“FYR Macedonia is on the right track. It takes time for reforms to translate into changes in the economy, but we can already see some positive signs reflected in the recent pick up of economic activity and increase in foreign direct investment. Looking forward, stronger growth will demand broader changes. The progress made by FYR Macedonia on the Doing Business indicators demonstrates its capacity to implement reforms through political will, a desire to change and coordination with stakeholders,” said Lilia Burunciuc, Country Manager, World Bank Office in FYR Macedonia.
A fundamental premise of Doing Business is that economic activity requires good rules. Smart regulation to encourage business start-up and operations is all the more important in times of crisis, allowing entrepreneurs to adapt to changing conditions or new markets while permitting viable companies to continue functioning.
New data show that improving access to information on business regulations helps entrepreneurs. “Increasing transparency and access to regulatory information is important to creating a healthier business environment,” said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. “To date, 60 percent of economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia provide easy access to fee schedules or documentation requirements for trade, business start-up, construction permits, or electricity connections.”
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. 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.