Nearly 240 business-related regulatory reforms in 114 nations were enacted last year, according to the World Bank report, Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises.
The report, released Tuesday, October 29, says that if economies around the world followed regulatory best practices for starting a business, entrepreneurs would save 45 million days each year. “Yet small and medium-size enterprises still are subject to burdensome regulations and vague rules that are unevenly applied and that impose inefficiencies on the enterprise sector,” the report notes. Depending upon location, “Exporting just one shipment of its final products could take 6 documents, 22 days and more than $1,500. In 35 of the nations, credit mechanisms were unavailable.
As World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim elaborates, "A better business climate that enables entrepreneurs to build their businesses and reinvest in their communities is key to local and global economic growth," says "Doing Business shows that economies with better business regulations are more likely to empower local entrepreneurs to create more jobs - another step toward ending extreme poverty by 2030."
Of the 20 economies that have most improved business regulation since 2009, nine are in Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo. This is more than twice the number that enacted reforms in 2005.The reforms reduce overly burdensome regulations and strengthen legal institutions.
The top nations in which to do business, in order, are Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the U.S., according to the World Bank report. America’s top three trading partners, Canada, Mexico and China, were ranked 19th, 53rd and 96th, respectively.