For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The World Bank Group released Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs on November 4. The report tracks the state of business regulation in 183 economies and identifies the top ten reformers in business environment improvements.
Seven of the ten top reformers – Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Peru, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Zambia, and Grenada – are partners in U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) efforts to make it easier for local entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses.
A business-friendly environment is essential for countries to reach their economic and development goals. Business provides the goods, services and tax revenues that form the foundation of a healthy economy. Inappropriate regulations lower growth, investment, and income while reducing the availability of affordable credit needed for individuals and countries to move out of poverty.
Kazakhstan was the top reformer this year, moving 15 places – from 74 to 59. In this country, USAID helped improve and simplify nine laws and regulations covering business start up, issuance of construction permits, and protection of investors. Improvements in disclosure requirements brought Kazakhstan to a worldwide rank of 44 on the report's Protecting Investors indicators.
In nearby Tajikistan, USAID assistance helped the country advance 10 places through support for legal and regulatory improvements that facilitated business start-ups, protected investors, and improved the payment of taxes. In both these Central Asian countries, ongoing USAID projects are not only helping to ensure the continuation of Doing Business reforms, but also helping to address other business environment constraints not reflected in the Doing Business scores.
USAID played a key role in helping the other five countries achieve substantial increases in their rankings. Vietnam attained a 10-rank increase due to improvements in a one-stop shop for opening business, along with reforms that addressed constraints in obtaining construction permits and credit. Vietnam is working with USAID on a national competitiveness initiative to improve the regulatory environment throughout the country.
In Peru, which also advanced 10 places, USAID assistance to streamline port procedures has lowered export time to only 12 days and work with municipalities has lowered time and costs involved in business registration and permitting. With these improvements, Peru now has the second best business regulatory environment in Latin America, falling just behind Mexico.
Similar USAID assistance in Rwanda, Zambia and Grenada led to ranking increases resulting from reductions in red tape necessary to start new businesses.
USAID currently supports economic reformers in more than 50 developing countries and has partnered with the World Bank Doing Business project since 2004. For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit: www.doingbusiness.org
Last updated: February 12, 2014