Warsaw, October 20, 2011 — A new IFC and World Bank report finds that for the ninth consecutive year, Eastern Europe and Central Asia led other regions in improving regulations for entrepreneurs.
Released today, Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies. The report ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency, and trading across borders. The study’s methodology expanded this year to include indicators on getting electricity connections.
This past year, 21 of the region’s 24 economies improved business regulations for domestic firms by implementing a total of 53 reforms in areas such as resolving insolvency, dealing with construction permitting, enforcing contracts, and protecting investors. Amid a global economic crisis, 40 percent of the region’s economies improved insolvency proceedings by implementing such measures as amended bankruptcy laws.
In Doing Business 2012, Poland is ranked in 62nd place worldwide, a slippage of three places relative to last year's recalculated ranking, but an improvement from its 70th place based on the old methodology. Poland’s position improved thanks to a number of reforms undertaken by the Polish Government and recognized by the Doing Business 2012 ranking. Specifically, Poland made trading across borders faster by implementing electronic preparation and submission of customs documents and facilitated insolvency proceedings by simplifying court procedures. It also further improved its position in getting credit, moving to the top 10 worldwide. However, despite slightly shortened processing times, dealing with construction permits and paying taxes in Poland remained difficult, underscoring the need for further reforms.
Poland ranked 64th on the new indicator of getting electricity.
“The 2012 Doing Business report reflects the ongoing improvements in a number of important areas for the business climate in Poland. These include the improved quality of infrastructure for accessing credit and trading across borders. However, the pace of reforms in other areas, such as dealing with construction permits, is slower than in other countries. The Polish government is committed to further doing business reforms, capitalizing on the recently introduced reforms, such as the new deregulation package.The full effects of these reforms may be reflected in the next year's ranking. The World Bank remains committed to supporting the Polish government in its efforts to improve the business environment in Poland.”- said Xavier Devictor, Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic Countries.
Ranked 16th, Georgia leads the region in the ease of doing business. Georgia continued its broad program of reform by simplifying business start-up, and expanding access to credit. Since 2005, it has introduced new company and customs codes, a revamped property registry, broad judicial reform, and a credit bureau.
Armenia rose six places in the global ranking to 55 by implementing five regulatory and institutional reforms between June 2010 and May 2011, the most in the region. Cyprus climbed to the 40th spot by strengthening investor protections.
The Russian Federation eased the process of registering property, reduced the number of documents needed for trade, and made getting electricity less costly by revising the connection tariffs. Georgia, Latvia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine each implemented four regulatory reforms.
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.”
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.”
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.