China is East Asia’s Top Performer in Improving Business Regulatory Efficiency Since 2005

October 23, 2012

Washington, D.C., October 23, 2012—Over the past eight years, China has made the greatest progress in the East Asia and Pacific region in improving business regulations for local entrepreneurs, according to a new report from IFC and the World Bank.

Released today, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises finds that China has implemented regulatory reforms in eight of 10 areas of regulation measured by the annual Doing Business series. These include establishing a new company law in 2005, a new credit registry in 2006, its first bankruptcy law in 2007, a new property law in 2007, a new civil procedure law in 2008, and a new corporate income tax law in 2008. As a result, China ranked among the 20 economies worldwide that have improved regulatory efficiency the most since 2005.

“This year’s report shows that from June 2011 to June 2012, China implemented two regulatory improvements for local firms,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “China completed the first stage of a new building approval process that substantially reduces the total time for dealing with construction permits. China also made starting a business less costly, by exempting micro and small companies from paying several administrative fees from January 2012 to December 2014. These regulatory improvements are part of a pattern started several years ago intended to facilitate the operations of small and medium-size enterprises.”

The report finds that 11 of 24 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations in the past year. Mongolia was the region’s top improver for the year and the only economy in East Asia and the Pacific among the global top 10 improvers in Doing Business 2013. Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh year straight. Hong Kong SAR, China, holds onto the second spot.

This year’s report also features a case study that explores reform efforts by members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation using the Doing Business framework. 

The report’s global annual ranking on the ease of doing business shows that the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation are Singapore; Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.

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 protecting investors. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 185 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability, the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. This year’s report marks the 10th edition of the global Doing Business report series. For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit Join us on Facebook.

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. For more information, please visit,, and

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