The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, which attempts to provide a measure the costs to firms of business regulations spread over the world’s 185 countries, has been released for 2015. Through the use of a number of metrics such as red tape around starting a new business, construction permits, property laws, credit access, investment protection, taxes rates, the ease of cross border transaction, contract enforcement and access to electricity, among others.
Roughly 30 percent regulatory reforms easing burdens on business activity came from sub-Saharan Africa
In the 2015 report it was found that out of the 185 countries measured, in 122 of these, entrepreneurs said that they had seen improvements in their local regulatory framework from the following on from the previous year. The top ten countries to see improvements in business regulations were Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, Cyprus, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Senegal and Benin. Collectively, these states instituted 39 regulatory reforms easing the ability to do business.
Roughly 30 percent regulatory reforms easing burdens on business activity came from sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank report, “Members of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa were particularly active: 14 of the 17 economies implemented business regulation reforms in the past year—29 in total. Twenty-four of these reforms reduced the complexity and cost of regulatory processes, while the other five strengthened legal institutions.”
Despite various fears of political instability, economic nationalism and financial instability in BRICS category countries most saw an improvement in the rankings. Russia, China, India and Brazil all saw their ease of doing business deemed to have improved. India saw the biggest improvement, rising to 130th in the index – a 12 place improvement from last year. At the same time South Africa’s position slipped 30 places, although maintained at 73, second only to Russia at 51, among the BRICS.