Every October, the World Bank releases its Ease of Doing Business Index, which reports on “the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it” for 190 economies, both big and small.
More specifically, this index takes a closer look at regulations impacting eleven specific areas and how these affect how easy it is to conduct business in a country.
These areas are: 1) starting a business; 2) dealing with construction permits; 3) getting electricity; 4) registering property; 5) getting credit; 6) protecting minority investors; 7) paying taxes; 8) trading across borders; 9) enforcing contracts; 10) resolving insolvency, and; 11) labor market regulation.
The Top 20 Countries to Do Business In
As you can appreciate from the table below, New Zealand topped the Ease of Doing Business Index’s 15th edition thanks to its high ranking in how easy it is to start a business, register a property, receive credit and protect minority investors in the country.
Singapore, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and Georgia round out the top 10, with Denmark topping the charts for handling construction permits and trading across borders and South Korea doing the same for enforcing contracts.
Other Interesting Findings of the 2018 Ease of Doing Business Index
Some of the report’s main findings include:
- According to the report, “119 of the 190 economies measured by Doing Business 2018 enacted at least one business regulation reform in 2016/17. Of these, 79.8% implemented at least one reform for a second consecutive year and 64.7% for a third.”
- Furthermore, “Georgia, with a ranking of 9, has implemented the highest number of business regulation reforms since the launch of Doing Business in 2003—a total of 47,” while “FYR Macedonia has carried out the second highest number of reforms among the top 20” with 41.
- Europe and Central Asia are the regions that lead “with the highest share of economies implementing at least one reform—79% of economies in the region have implemented at least one business regulatory reform, followed by South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.”
- More specifically, countries like “Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Malawi, Kosovo, India, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Nigeria, Djibouti and El Salvador were the most improved economies in 2016/17 in areas tracked by Doing Business,” setting forth “53 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business.”
- These top movers “implemented the most regulatory reforms in the area of getting credit (eight reforms), starting a business, dealing with construction permits and paying taxes (seven reforms in each area).”
- India, for example, made it into the top 100 for the first time after having ranked 130 in the past edition. India ranks fourth in terms of protecting minority investors and getting electricity in Delhi, for instance, has dropped from 138 days to 45. According to Annette Dixon, the World Bank’s VP for the South Asian region, “Having embarked on a strong reform agenda to improve the business environment, the significant jump this year is a result of the Indian government’s consistent efforts over the past few years. It indicates India’s endeavor to further strengthen its position as a preferred place to do business globally.”
What does your country need to do to make it an easier place to do business in and move up the World Bank’s rankings?