Singapore is still the easiest place to do business in, according to World Bank. For ten consecutive years, Singapore held on the title as the economy with the most business-friendly regulations and has the highest index score on the quality of judicial processes.
New Zealand is still at the second spot followed by Denmark (3) which moved one notch up and Korea (4). Hong Kong dropped two places from its previous third spot last year to fifth this year followed by United Kingdom (6), United States (7), Sweden (8), Norway (9), and Finland (10).
Now on its thirteenth-year run, this year’s Ease of Doing Business report titled “Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency” turned the spotlight on regulations that are involved in starting and operating a business. The annual publication looked at 189 economies and measured the quality of business regulatory environment based on the availability of regulation infrastructure that are needed to successfully complete transactions such as dealing with construction permits, property registration, getting electricity, across the border trade, and contract enforcement.
Data over the past years show that developing countries have improved more compared to high-income economies. In Southeast Asia, India is the most improved economy rising 12 spots from 142nd last year to 130th this year. This was caused by an eased company formation process, reduced registration fees, lower cost of obtaining electricity connection, and strengthened minority investor protection.
Overall, results revealed the importance of business regulations promoting efficiency and transparency amongst enterprises and markets rather than having very little regulations. World Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Kaushik Basu, said that “the best 30 performers are not those with little regulation but those with good rules that allow efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets while protecting public interest.”
Eritrea, Libya, South Sudan and Venezuela were the worst-ranked countries.