Washington D.C., October 20, 2011—
A new IFC and World Bank report finds that 11 out of 18 economies in the
Middle East and North Africa improved business regulations for entrepreneurs
in the past year, moving forward despite political and economic uncertainty
in the region.
Released today, Doing Business 2012:
Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting
domestic firms in 183 economies. The report ranks the economies in 10 areas
of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency,
and enforcing contracts. The study’s methodology expanded this year to
include indicators on getting electricity connections.
Morocco improved its business regulation
the most compared to other global economies, climbing 21 places to 94,
by simplifying the construction permitting process, easing the administrative
burden of tax compliance, and providing greater protections to minority
shareholders. Since 2005, Morocco has implemented 15 business regulatory
The report finds that six of the region’s
18 business regulatory reforms measured made it easier to start a business.
For example, Jordan reduced the minimum capital required to start a company,
and Oman’s new one-stop shop for entrepreneurs cut business registration
time from seven days to three.
Saudi Arabia remained the regional leader
with a global ease of doing business ranking of 12. Qatar implemented its
first reforms since 2005 and climbed to 36 on the global scorecard by improving
its credit information system. The United Arab Emirates further streamlined
the requirements for business start-up, and improved its ranking to 33.
New data show that the region can improve
access to information on business regulations. “The region’s entrepreneurs
can be empowered by stronger institutions and better access to information,”
said Neil Gregory, Senior Manager, Global Indicators and Analysis, World
Bank Group. “In more than half of the region’s economies, an entrepreneur
must meet with an official to get fee schedules or documentation requirements
for many business procedures. E-government initiatives, the global trend,
can help relieve bureaucratic burdens on entrepreneurs by offering transparent
and sustainable solutions.”
Over the past six years 17 economies
in the Middle East and North Africa have made their regulatory environment
more business-friendly. “Making business regulations more efficient and
accessible increases opportunities for economic growth,” said Augusto
Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group.
“By helping businesses get started, the economies of the Middle East and
North Africa can offer hope to entrepreneurs, who are the engine
behind job creation.”
About the Doing Business report
Doing Business analyzes regulations
that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including
start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving
insolvency. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on
10 indicators and cover 183 economies. Previous year’s rankings are back-calculated
to account for the addition of new indicator(s), data corrections, and
methodology changes in existing indicators so as to provide a meaningful
comparison with the new rankings. 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, the level of skills, or the strength of financial systems.
Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and
enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates
to economic outcomes across economies.
For more information about the Doing
Business report series, please visit: www.doingbusiness.org.
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DoingBusiness.org.
Compare Doing Business data on your
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),
which together form the World Bank; 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
Regional Media Contacts:
Middle East and North Africa
Riham Mustafa +202 (2) 4691-4230
Taheri Moayed 1 (202) 473-1075