The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have released their annual report of Doing Business 2012, the ninth in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.  Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 183 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – and over time.

Data in Doing Business 2012 are current as of June 1, 2011. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why. Chapters exploring these issues for each of the 11 Doing Business topics—as well as showing global trends—are being published online this year. The chapters are available on the Doing Business website at http://www.doingbusiness.org.

The key findings of this report are:

  • In Sub-Saharan Africa 36 of 46 governments improved their economy’s regulatory environment for domestic businesses in 2010/11—a record number since 2005. This is good news for entrepreneurs in the region, where starting and running a business is still costlier and more complex than in any other region of the world.
  • Worldwide, 125 economies implemented 245 reforms making it easier to do business in 2010/11, 13% more than in the previous year. In low- and lower-middle-income economies a greater share of these changes were aimed at strengthening courts, insolvency regimes and investor protections than in earlier years. The pickup in the pace of regulatory reform is especially welcome for small and medium-size businesses, the main job creators in many parts of the world.
  • Against the backdrop of the global fi nancial and economic crisis, more economies strengthened their insolvency regime in 2010/11 than in any previous year. Twenty-nine economies implemented insolvency reforms, up from 16 the previous year and 18 the year before. Most were OECD high-income economies or in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  Research has shown that effective insolvency systems can influence the cost of debt, access to credit, and both the ability of an economy to recover from a recession and the speed of its recovery.
  • New data show the importance of access to regulatory information. Fee schedules, documentation requirements and information relating to commercial cases and insolvency proceedings are most easily accessible in OECD high-income economies and least accessible in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. The rise in e-government initiatives around the world provides an opportunity to increase access to information and transparency.
  • A new measure shows that over the past 6 years, 94% of 174 economies covered by Doing Business have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. These economies moved closer to the “frontier,” a synthetic measure based on the most business-friendly regulatory practices across 9 areas of business regulation—from starting a business to resolving insolvency.
  • A broad, sustained approach to managing business regulation is common among the 20 economies that have the most business-friendly regulatory environment today and among those that made the greatest progress toward the “frontier” over the past 6 years. This year’s report highlights the experiences of the Republic of Korea, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Korea just joined the top 10 economies on the ease of doing business after streamlining business entry, tax administration and contract enforcement. FYR Macedonia is among the economies that improved the most in the ease of doing business over the past year.
  • The economies that improved the most in the ease of doing business in 2010/11—with improvements in 3 or more areas of regulation measured by Doing Business—are Morocco, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Latvia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Burundi, the Solomon Islands, Korea, Armenia, and Colombia.

To access the report click on this link

Source:  World Bank – IFC