Press Releases

Doing Business 2010: Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region Leads the World in Business Regulatory Reform

In Washington, D.C.:
Nadine Ghannam
Phone: +1 (202) 473-3011

 Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009—In a record year for regulatory reform worldwide, Eastern Europe and Central Asia led all regions in the pace of reforms. Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times finds that 26 of 27 economies in the region reformed regulations to create more opportunity for domestic firms.

Globally, a record 131 of the 183 economies surveyed reformed business regulations between June 2008 and May 2009, according to the report, the seventh in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World Bank.

The region was the most active worldwide in reforming insolvency regimes and easing access to credit. Six economies improved their insolvency regimes: Albania, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Tajikistan. Seven reformed their credit information systems: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Latvia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Turkey. The Kyrgyz Republic and Poland strengthened the legal rights of borrowers and lenders.

“Governments in Europe and Central Asia continue implementing regulatory reforms as part of their long-term strategies, despite the many challenges of the past year,” said Neil Gregory, Advisor, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank Group. “They recognize that the quality of business regulation helps determine how easy it is to reorganize troubled firms, rebuild entrepreneurs’ confidence, and start new businesses,”

Reform activity among developing economies in the region is the strongest since 2004. The Kyrgyz Republic, the region’s leading reformer, moved up in the global rankings from 80 to 41 on ease of doing business, by implementing reforms in seven of the 10 areas measured by the report. Among other things, it expedited the issuance of construction permits and eased business start-up and property registration.

This year Rwanda was the top global reformer. There were 4 new reformers among the global top 10: Liberia, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan and Moldova. Others, aside from Rwanda, include Egypt, Belarus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Colombia.

“Reforms continue to move eastward across the region. Albania, Belarus, the Kyrgyz Republic, and FYR Macedonia implemented reforms in several areas for the third year in row,” said Svetlana Bagaudinova, an author of the report. “Inspired by their neighbors, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Tajikistan have also picked up the pace of reform,” she added.

Doing Business
analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycles, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business.

Doing Business
does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure security, macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level, or the strength of financial systems.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and

For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit:

For more information on Doing Business 2010, please contact:

Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011                      Rebecca Ong +1 (202) 458-0434
E-mail:                                      E-mail:

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2010:
Central and Eastern Europe Central Asia

Ilya Sverdlov +7 (495) 411-7555                               Nezhdana Bukova +7 (985) 411-3986
E-mail:                                          E-mail:

Southern Europe

Slobodan Brkic +381 (11) 30-23-750                       Kristyn Schrader +1 (202) 458-2736
E-mail:                                                 E-mail: