ALMATY, October 31, 2018 – Kazakhstan jumped 8 positions to claim a place among the world’s top 30 economies in ease of doing business, according to the latest rankings of the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019 report. In last year’s report, Kazakhstan ranked in 36th place, this year – 28th place.
The reforms in Kazakhstan were implemented across three indicators: starting a business, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts.
On the “distance to frontier metric,” a key indicator in the survey which measures how close a country’s regulation is from global best practice, Kazakhstan’s score increased from 77.16 in Doing Business 2018 to 77.89 in Doing Business 2019. This means that, last year, Kazakhstan improved its business regulations in absolute terms and is narrowing the gap with global regulatory best practices.
“Kazakhstan has come a long way in demonstrating a very strong commitment to improving conditions for doing business,” said Francis Ato Brown, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan. “The Government of Kazakhstan is putting in place a very solid foundation to foster the development of the private sector and contribute to the country’s economic growth and prosperity. Sustained implementation of bolder reforms will be critical as Kazakhstan joins the top 30 economies in ease of doing business.”
The report finds that Kazakhstan introduced substantive improvements in the following areas in 2017/18:
- Starting a business was made easier by reducing the time required for value added tax registration. The time for opening a business in Kazakhstan has reduced from nine days to five;
- Trading across borders was made easier by introducing an electronic customs declaration system, as well as reducing customs administrative fees;
- Enforcing contracts was made easier by making judgments rendered at all levels in commercial cases publicly available and publishing performance measurement reports on local commercial courts.
While there has been substantial progress, however, Kazakhstan still needs improvements in areas such as trading across borders, resolving insolvency and getting credits.
Overall, in the Europe and Central Asia region, a total of 54 business reforms were carried out during the past year, compared with 43 reforms the year before. Nearly all of the region’s 23 economies carried out reforms that help create jobs and stimulate private enterprise.
The region’s economies perform best with regard to registering property and protecting minority investors. On average, it takes 20 days to complete all procedures required for transferring property, at a cost of 2.6 percent of the property value, compared to 4.2 percent in high-income OECD economies for the same amount of time.
However, economies in Europe and Central Asia continue to underperform with regard to getting electricity. On average, it costs 325 percent of income per capita for a business to obtain an electricity connection, compared with 64 percent in high-income OECD economies.
Since Doing Business first began in 2003, starting a business and paying taxes are the areas that have seen the most reforms in Europe and Central Asia. As a result, the average time to start a business in the region has been slashed to 14 days, from 44 days in 2003, and the cost has been significantly reduced from 21 percent of the income per capita in 2003 to 3.6 percent today. The time needed for a company to prepare, file and pay taxes has been halved to 227 hours, from 483 hours in 2005 (when Doing Business began tracking the collection of taxes).
This year, Doing Business collected data on training provided to both 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 higher business and land registry efficiency. In Europe and Central Asia, 55 percent of business registries and 41 percent of land registries use pilot testing. By using pilot testing to convey regulatory changes, business and land registries can identify and address potential challenges before the full implementation of new processes.
A second study, on enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency, examines the education and training that judges receive worldwide. It features initiatives from the European Union and the International Organization for Judicial Training. Two other case studies focus on the benefits of accrediting electricians and training customs clearance officials.
The full report and its datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org.