Singapore Top Paradise For Business

World Bank ranks Singapore as #1, New Zealand #2, U.S. #3

Singapore once again topped the World Bank's ranks for the best place in the world to do business, and Egypt is the leader in reforms to invite more business, the World Bank said Sept. 25.

In its "Doing Business 2008" report, New Zealand held on to the number-two spot, ahead of the U.S. in third place. Hong Kong, Denmark, Britain, Canada, Ireland, Australia and Iceland rounded out in descending order the top 10 places for ease of doing business in the survey of 178 economies.

The World Bank said that countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union reformed the most in 2006-2007, along with a large group of emerging markets, including China and India. "China was the standout in East Asia, implementing far-reaching new private property rights and a new bankruptcy law," the bank said.

Egypt, the leading reformer, greatly improved its position in the global rankings on the ease of doing business, with reforms in five of the 10 areas studied by the report, the 185-nation bank said. The other top 10 reformers are, in order, Croatia, Ghana, Macedonia, Georgia, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, China and Bulgaria.

"Eastern Europe has witnessed a boom in new business entry that rivals the rapid growth in East Asia in the past," said Simeon Djankov, lead author of the report.

The rankings are based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirements in business start-up, operation, trade, taxation, and closure, the bank said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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