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Nearly 2,000 Worldwide Reforms Make It Easier To Do Business

By Ideas Lab Staff October 29, 2012

The annual Doing Business report shows worldwide improvements in the ease of doing business, made possible by thousands of new regulatory reforms over the past decade.

Improvements in business regulations have made it easier for entrepreneurs in developing countries to do business. In the past decade, 180 economies have implemented almost 2,000 regulatory reforms, creating benefits for entrepreneurs across the world, according to findings from the 10th edition of the Doing Business series, an annual report by The World Bank and IFC.

The report says reforms have yielded major benefits for local entrepreneurs, including reducing the average time to start a business – from 50 days in 2005 to 30 this year. Also, the average time to transfer property fell by 35 days in the past eight years, according to a press release from The World Bank.

This year’s report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, found that Poland improved the most in the past year. The country implemented four reforms to make it easier to register property, pay taxes, enforce contracts and resolve insolvency. Nine other economies –  Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan – also were recognized for improvements in the ease of doing business.

Other findings from the report:

  • 108 economies implemented 201 regulatory reforms in 2011-12, making it easier to start a new business
  • Singapore ranked first on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year
  • 88 percent of economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia reformed in at least one of the areas measured by Doing Business
  • European economies in fiscal distress are working to improve the business climate

The Doing Business report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks them in 10 areas of business regulation, including starting a business and trading across borders. In the past decade, the annual reports have recorded almost 2,000 regulatory reforms implemented by 180 economies. Read more from the report here.