These are the 10 best places to do business in the world
According to the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020, the top 10 economies in the ease of doing business rankings were New Zealand (86.8 out of 100), Singapore (86.2), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (85.3), Denmark (85.3), Republic of Korea (84), United States (84), Georgia (83.7), United Kingdom (83.5), Norway (82.6) and Sweden (82).
The 20 best-performing economies have online processes for company formation, electronic platforms for tax filing and online procedures for property transfer. In addition, 11 economies have electronic procedures for granting building permits.
In general, the 20 economies with the highest scores have strong and highly transparent regulations for companies.
Most improved locations
Doing Business also investigates which economies have shown the most improvement. In this year's study, it was established that the top 10 economies in terms of ease of doing business were Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria.
In Saudi Arabia, the authorities established a one-stop shop for company formation and removed the requirement for married women to present additional documentation when applying for a national identity card. The country also simplified and unified pre- and post-registration procedures.
Jordan implemented three reforms and, for the first time, joined the group of major reforming economies. The country strengthened access to credit by introducing a new secured transactions law, amending the insolvency law and implementing a modern collateral registry based on notices. In addition, it facilitated the payment of taxes through the implementation of electronic mechanisms for the submission of returns and the payment of labor taxes and other mandatory contributions.
With five trade regulatory reforms, Togo was ranked among the 10 economies in which the business climate improved most, for the second consecutive year and for the third time in the last five years. The authorities abolished the obligation to notarize company documents and reduced the time needed to register a company. The Government simplified the process of obtaining construction permits and facilitated the process of connecting to the electricity grid, registering property and obtaining credit.
Bahrain facilitated the process of obtaining electricity. Now, the connection to the grid is faster and cheaper, and the supply of electricity is more reliable.
Pakistan facilitated property registration by establishing a quicker and simpler procedure for the registration of deeds and by increasing the transparency of the land administration system.
Tajikistan facilitated obtaining credit through the creation of a modern, unified collateral register based on notifications. Kuwait strengthened the protection of minority investors by providing that a notice of a general assembly should be issued 21 days in advance.
China facilitated the payment of taxes by providing, inter alia, that corporate income tax rates would be subject to preferential tax treatment for small businesses and companies with low profit margins.
India facilitated cross-border trade by reducing costs and time associated with formalities and documentation required in border areas. Nigeria facilitated contract enforcement by improving the quality of court proceedings.
Governments in 115 economies around the world launched 294 reforms over the past year to facilitate domestic private sector entrepreneurship, which will lay the groundwork for the creation of new jobs, expansion of business activity and rising incomes for many, according to the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020 study.
This latest edition of the study documents reforms implemented in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies over a 12-month period ending 1 May 2019. Business-friendly environments are linked to lower levels of poverty and regulatory effectiveness can stimulate entrepreneurship, emerging firms, innovation, access to credit and investment. The study is the 17th in an annual series assessing regulations that improve or restrict the activity of small and medium-sized enterprises.
"Governments can encourage market development and broad-based growth by creating rules that help companies get started, hire staff and expand," said David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group. "Removing the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs leads to better jobs, increased tax revenues and higher incomes, all of which are needed to reduce poverty and raise living standards.
It is important to note that the Doing Business report is not intended to be an investment guide, but rather a measurement of indicators on the ease of doing business.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Caribbean economies implemented a record 19 reforms over the past year to make it easier for domestic firms to operate, but the region must continue working to meet global standards. Puerto Rico and Jamaica were the top-ranked economies in the region, ranking 65th and 71st worldwide.
Latin America still lags behind other regions of the world, but there are some favorable aspects. Colombia has implemented a total of 37 reforms since 2005 and continues to lead reform initiatives in the region. Mexico remains the best ranked country in the region, ranked 60th, but for the second year in a row it did not introduce any significant improvement in the business climate.