A new World Bank Group report finds that four of eight economies in South Asia implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business in 2013/14. Three countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, focused their efforts on adopting modern electronic systems to facilitate business activity.
‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ finds that since 2005, all economies in the region have taken steps to improve the business environment in areas measured by the report. India implemented the region’s largest number of regulatory reforms in that period, with 20, followed by Sri Lanka with 16.
“Doing business is easier in economies with administrative efficiency and strong regulatory protections,” said Rita Ramalho, Doing Business report lead author, World Bank Group. “We are encouraged by the modernisation of regulatory processes in South Asia because it is benefiting local entrepreneurs.”
Pakistan and Bangladesh made trading across borders easier by implementing computerised systems that allow web-based submission of documents, reducing the time to export and import.
This year, for the first time, Doing Business collected data for a second city in economies with a population of more than 100 million. In Bangladesh, it now analyzes business regulations in Chittagong and Dhaka; in India, in Delhi and Mumbai; and in Pakistan, in Lahore and Karachi. The report finds that differences between cities are common in indicators measuring the steps, time, and cost to complete regulatory transactions where local agencies play a larger role.
The report finds that Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, China, Denmark, the Republic of Korea, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland and Australia.