PRISTINA, October 31, 2018 – Kosovo has continued to improve the ease of doing business, moving closer to the frontier of global best practices in business regulation, says the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released today.
Kosovo has improved its score from 73.71 to 74.15 points, where a higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions. However, since rankings depend also on the reforms and the movements in the ranking of others, Kosovo has seen a slight drop in relative ratings, from 40th to 44th place in this year’s report.
“We are happy to see that Kosovo is moving closer to the best standards of business regulation, but the ranking also shows that reforms need to move faster as Kosovo needs to be more competitive”, says Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “The World Bank remains committed to support Kosovo create the conditions for a more sustainable, export-oriented, and inclusive economic growth, which would allow its citizens greater opportunities for a better life”.
The Doing Business 2019 report notes that governments around the world have set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year.
The reforms, carried out in 128 economies, benefit small and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, enabling job creation and stimulating private investment. This year’s reforms surpass the previous all-time high of 290 reforms two years ago.
“The private sector is key to creating sustainable economic growth and ending poverty around the world,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Fair, efficient, and transparent rules, which Doing Business promotes, are the bedrock of a vibrant economy and entrepreneurship environment. It’s critical for governments to accelerate efforts to create the conditions for private enterprise to thrive and communities to prosper.”
The report finds that reforms are taking place where they are most needed, with low-income and lower middle-income economies carrying out 172 reforms. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a record number of 40 economies implemented 107 reforms, a new best in number of reforms for a third consecutive year for the region. The Middle East and North Africa region scaled a new high with 43 reforms.
The indicator Starting a Business continued to see the most improvements, with 50 reforms this year. Enforcing Contracts and Getting Electricity saw milestone reforms, with 49 and 26, respectively.
In the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots, respectively, for a second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; United States; United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia.
This year’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda. With six reforms each, Djibouti and India are in the top 10 for a second consecutive year. Afghanistan and Turkey, top improvers for the first time, implemented record single-year reforms, with five and seven, respectively.
This year, Doing Business collected data on training provided to public officials and users of business and land registries. A case study in the report, which analyzes this data, finds that mandatory and annual training for relevant officials is associated with more efficient business and land registries. A second study finds that regular training for customs clearance officials and brokers results in lower border and documentary compliance times, easing the movement of goods across borders. Two other case studies focus on the benefits of accrediting electricians and training of judges.
Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,500 business reforms have been carried out in 186 of the 190 economies Doing Business monitors.
The region of Europe and Central Asia, which includes Kosovo, hosts two of the world’s top 10 economies this year, with Georgia moving up to 6th place (from 9th last year), and FYR Macedonia edging up one spot to 10th place. The region also hosts two of this year’s top improvers, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The pace of reforms accelerated in the region, with 54 reforms implemented during the past year, compared with a revised number of 43 reforms the previous year. While reforms in the region covered all areas of Doing Business, many improvements focused on easing construction permitting and cross border trade.
The full report and its datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org