Doing Business-2009: Azerbaijan is this year’s top reformer

Doing Business-2009: Azerbaijan is this year’s top reformer
# 10 September 2008 11:52 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Nijat Mustafayev – APA-Economics. Regulatory reforms are gaining momentum worldwide, reaching record numbers this year, finds Doing Business 2009—the sixth in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the World Bank. The new report identifies 239 reforms between June 2007 and June 2008 that make it easier to do business in 113 economies.
The report, examining regulations and how they affect business, ranks 181 economies on the overall ease of doing business.
Doing Business ranks economies based on 10 indicators of business regulation that record the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business.
Azerbaijan is this year’s top reformer, with the most regulatory reforms, according to the report.
Azerbaijan jumped to 33 on the list from 96 last year, followed by Albania, at 86 from 135, and Kyrgyzstan, at 68 from 99.
The country set up a one-stop shop for business startup in January, halving the time, cost, and number of steps required to start a business. As a result, business registrations increased by 40 percent in the first six months of its operation.
Transferring property now takes 11 days, as opposed to 61 days it took before, thanks to a unified property registry for land and real estate transactions. Taxpayers can also fill out and pay taxes online, saving on average more than 500 hours a year in dealing with paperwork.
Compared to last year, Azerbaijan ranked higher in 7 of 10 indicators of business regulation according to this year’s report.
For Starting a Business, Azerbaijan ranked 13th (64th last year), Dealing with Construction Permits (155/159), Employing Workers (15/80), Registering Property (9/56), Getting Credit (12/26), Protecting Investors (18/107), Paying Taxes (102/141), Trading Across Borders (174/173), Enforcing Contracts (26/30), Closing a Business (81/70).
Singapore kept its top ranking for the third year in a row as the easiest place in the world to do business.
The Asian city-state edged out New Zealand and the United States in the "Doing Business 2009" ranking by the World Bank.
Filling out the list of the 10 easiest business environments was Hong Kong, Denmark, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Norway.
Among the world’s largest economies, Japan held steady at number 12 from last year, while Germany fell to 25 from 20, China rose to 83 from 90 and Britain was unchanged in the sixth position. France moved up one spot to number 31.
Among rapidly growing emerging economies, Russia fell nine places to 120th place and India slipped two notches to number 122.
Also, Turkey ranked 59th (60th last year), Iran 142nd (138th), Russia 120th (112th), Kazakhstan 70th (80th), Uzbekistan 138th (145th), Ukraine 145th (144th), Georgia 15th (21st), Armenia 44th (41st), Estonia 22nd (18th), Lithuania 28th (28th), Latvia 29th (26th), Kyrgyzstan 68th (99th), Belarus 85th (115th) and Tajikistan 159th (156th).

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