Doing business in a more transparent world - PDF
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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. Strength of legal institutions refers to the average ranking in getting credit, protecting investors, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Complexity and cost of regulatory processes refers to the average ranking in starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.
The size of the bubble refl ects the number of economies in each region and the number is the average ranking on the ease of doing business for the region. Doing Business also looks at regulations on employing workers, which are not included in this year s aggregate ranking.
Doing Business encompasses 2 types of data and indicators. One set of indicators focuses on the strength of property rights and investor protections as measured by the treatment of a case scenario according to the laws and regulations on the books. Doing Business gives higher scores for stronger property rights and investor protections, such as stricter disclosure requirements in related-party transactions.
The second set of indicators focuses on the cost and efficiency of regulatory processes such as starting a business, registering property and dealing with construction permits. Based on time-and-motion case studies from the perspective of the business, these indicators measure the procedures, time and cost required to complete a transaction in accordance with all relevant regulations.
Any interaction of the company with external parties such as government agencies counts as 1 procedure. Cost estimates are recorded from official fee schedules where these apply.
For a detailed explanation of the Doing Business methodology, see the data notes and the chapter About Doing Business: In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, by contrast, economies have on average slightly stronger legal institutions and less efficient regulatory processes. Investments in infrastructure ports, roads, telecommunications are seen as a vital ingredient of private sector development. In an increasingly complex global economy, investments in education and training are critical.
These investments typically take time to bear fruit. But economies that have made the transition from developing to high-income status have generally done so by boosting the skills and capabilities of their labor force.
A critical way for policy makers to encourage entrepreneurship is by creating a regulatory environment conducive to the creation and growth of businesses one that promotes rather than inhibits competition.
Courts, registries, tax agencies and credit information bureaus are essential to make markets work. How efficient and transparent they are matters greatly to business. To improve the efficiency of processes and institutions, governments around the world regardless of national income level are making greater use of technology.
More than of the economies covered by Doing Business use electronic systems for services ranging from business registration to customs clearance to court filings. It also provides new opportunities to increase transparency as well as to facilitate access to information and compliance with regulation.
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But not all economies take advantage of the opportunities for openness provided by the new technologies. And at times fiscal constraints and budgetary priorities have prevented faster adoption of the latest technologies to improve the quality of public services. This year Doing Business researched how businesses can access information essential for complying with regulations and formalities, such as documentation requirements for trade or fee schedules for business start-up, construction permitting or electricity connections.
Because some economies lack fully developed information technology infrastructure, the research also explored whether economies used other means to make such information easily accessible, such as posting fee schedules at the relevant agency or disseminating them through public notices. In the majority of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, obtaining such information requires a meeting with an official.
In all OECD high-income economies documentation requirements for trade are accessible online, at an agency or through public notices figure 1. Easier access to fee schedules and lower fees tend to go hand in hand. Beyond information that businesses need to comply with regulation, institutions such as courts provide information that helps increase transparency in the marketplace.
Overall in Sub-Saharan Africa, regulatory reform agendas have been broadening. Thirteen economies implemented reforms making it easier to do business in 3 or more areas measured by Doing Business from business entry to exit including postconflict economies such as Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
South Africa introduced a new company act streamlining business incorporation and a new reorganization procedure facilitating the rehabilitation of financially distressed companies. Against the backdrop of the global economic and financial crisis, changes to insolvency regimes continued across Europe and among OECD high-income economies elsewhere.
Iceland tightened approval requirements for related-party transactions. Greece, Portugal and Spain simplified business start-up. In other regions the pace of regulatory reform was uneven. In Latin America and the Caribbean the 3 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments, Chile, Peru and Colombia, made them more so each through regulatory reforms in 3 areas measured by Doing Business.
But there were no such reforms in Ecuador or the majority of the Caribbean states. Several small island states the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu implemented regulatory reforms in 3 or more areas, often supported by donor programs. In South Asia the pace of regulatory reform remained steady over the past year. Sri Lanka and Bhutan were the most active. Sri Lanka implemented tax changes and tightened disclosure requirements for transactions involving a conflict of interest.
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Bhutan launched a public credit registry and streamlined business start-up. It was created by 14 initial member economies on October 17,in Port Louis, Mauritius. According to the International Monetary Fund IMFthe financial crisis resulted in a sharp increase in corporate and household defaults and firm bankruptcies. Documentation requirements are considered easily accessible if they can be obtained through the website of the relevant authority or another government agency or through public notices, without a need for an appointment with an offi cial.
The data sample for building permits includes economies, and that for trade economies. Fee schedules are considered easily accessible if they can be obtained through the website of the relevant authority or another government agency or through public notices, without a need for an appointment with an offi cial. The data sample for incorporation includes economies, and that for electricity connections economies. But it is not only their role in efficient enforcement that matters.
As noted elsewhere in this report, an economy s ranking on the ease of doing business does not tell the whole story about its business environment.
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The underlying indicators do not account for all factors important to doing business, such as macroeconomic conditions, market size, workforce skills and security.
But they do capture some key aspects of the regulatory and institutional environment that matter for firms. These 20 economies have implemented effective yet streamlined procedures for regulatory processes such as starting a business and dealing with construction permits as well as strong legal protections of property rights. They also periodically review and update business regulations as part of a broader competitiveness agenda and take advantage of new technologies through e-government initiatives.
Only 2 decades ago some of these 20 economies faced challenges similar to those in many lower-income economies today. Consider Norway s property registry. Today it is one of the world s most efficient. But in its paper records required 30 kilometers of shelving and were growing at a rate of 1 kilometer a year. Norway took steps to change this.
First it merged the land department and survey information, then digitized title certificates. In it amended the year-old Land Transfer Act to allow online titling. Online registration has been required by law since Sweden undertook a systematic review of all regulations in the s. Any unjustified requirements were cut in a guillotine initiative. Mexico took a similar approach in the s.
In Korea the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness, created inidentified regulatory reform as 1 of 4 pillars to improve the economy s competitiveness, along with public sector innovation, investment promotion, and legal and institutional advancement. Policy makers in some economies today consider regulatory reform a continual process and create dedicated committees or agencies such as Actal in the Netherlands and the Better Regulation Executive in the United Kingdom.
These agencies not only routinely assess existing regulations. They also pay increasing attention to managing the flow of new regulations. New initiatives are under way, such as the one in, one out system and the Red Tape Challenge see the case study on the United Kingdom. The underlying principle is to have smart regulation, dispensing with cumbersome and costly regulations that impair the private sector s capacity to innovate and grow while maintaining regulations that promote a level playing field.
The rankings for all economies are benchmarked to June and reported in the country tables. This year s rankings on the ease of doing business are the average of the economy s rankings on the 10 topics included in this year s aggregate ranking.
The number of reforms excludes those making it more diffi cult to do business. In Sweden the government recently commissioned the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis to conduct studies on the effect of rules on the enterprise sector.
At all levels, much attention is being paid to transparent policy making. Governments are making business regulation and the regulatory process accessible, helped in many cases by e-government initiatives.
The United Kingdom invites comment on regulatory proposals on the website of the Better Regulation Executive. In many of the other economies, by contrast, the degree to which regulations and institutions are business-friendly varies fairly widely across different areas of regulation.
For example, Malaysia s top 3 rankings on getting credit, protecting investors and trading across borders average 11, while its lowest 3 on dealing with construction permits, getting electricity and registering property average For some economies this variance is due in part to the rapid pace of reform in some areas of business regulation.
One such area is business entry: But dealing with construction permits takes about 7 months, and enforcing a contract through the courts takes almost 3 years on average. Egypt s top 3 rankings on starting a business, getting credit and trading across borders average 54, while its lowest 3 on dealing with construction permits, paying taxes and enforcing contracts average Indeed, reforms simplifying business entry have been high on the agenda since early on particularly in common markets such as the European Union, where businesses are free to start and operate in any of the member states.
Over time such business regulation reforms have increasingly been undertaken by low- and lower-middleincome economies. Many have been helped by peer learning among policy makers, which has picked up around the world.
Every year corporate registrars from 31 economies meet to discuss challenges and solutions. Since the number of economies where starting a business takes 20 days or less has increased from 41 to Improving the regulatory environment for business can be difficult and take time, particularly if the improvements involve substantial institutional or legal changes.
Some require difficult political trade-offs. Outside pressures may be needed to push through legislative changes. So it is no surprise that times of crisis have often proved to be a time of opportunity. Against the backdrop of the global economic and financial crisis, the number of insolvency reforms increased over the past 3 years, particularly in Europe and among OECD high-income economies elsewhere.
Most focused on improving reorganization proceedings to allow viable firms to continue operating. Differences across areas of business regulation provide an opportunity for policy makers interested in regulatory reform. Not surprisingly, different areas of business regulation interact. Some research suggests that business regulation reforms have greater impact if combined with effective regulation in other areas. For example, when India dismantled a strict licensing regime controlling business entry and production, the benefits were greater in states that had more flexible labor regulations.
These states saw real output gains In many developing economies production of high-quality output is a precondition for firms to become exporters. Institutional deficiencies that raise the costs of high-quality production therefore limit the positive effect that trade facilitation can have on income.
But they increasingly recognize the importance of improvements within economies over time. And results from recent years are encouraging. In the past 6 years policy makers in economies made domestic regulations more business-friendly figure 1.
They lowered barriers to entry, operation and exit and strengthened protections of property and investor rights. Only a few economies moved in the opposite direction. Dealing with construction permits Getting electricity Registering property Average of all rankings Average of top 3 rankings: The data in the second panel refer to the economies included in Doing Business Remotely record all phone calls they make and receive on their cell If youre new to cell phone tracking, Best Phone Spy Software: IOS 11 makes it easier and more intuitive than ever to multitask.
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