According to Doing Business 2007: How to Reform, 213 regulatory reforms in 112 economies reduced the time, cost and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements in 2005/06. The report finds that Africa is reforming and ranks the region's progress ahead of that of Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Georgia was the biggest reformer last year, improving in six of the ten areas studied by the report. It reduced the minimum capital requirement for starting a business, sped up customs, licensing and court procedures, and made labour regulation more flexible. It was followed by Romania, Mexico, China, Peru and France.
For the first time, Africa makes the top three among reforming regions, after Eastern Europe and the OECD countries. Two-thirds of African countries made at least one reform, and Tanzania and Ghana rank among the top 10 African reformers
The report also ranks 175 economies on the ease of doing business. The top ten economies in the world for doing business are, in order, Singapore, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong/China, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Norway and Ireland.
"The report points out that in many economies the costs of doing business are so prohibitive that most entrepreneurs are forced to operate outside the formal economy," said Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank Group. "The report is a critical tool for developing countries to determine where more reforms are needed."
Source: Doing Business 2007
The World Bank
Reviewed by: Nick Loney