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Doing Business 2014 is the 11th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time. Regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business are covered: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and employing workers. The employing workers data are not included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business.
Data in Doing Business 2014 are current as of June 1, 2013. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala are among the economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business.
Worldwide, 114 economies implemented 238 regulatory reforms in 2012/13 making it easier to do business as measured by Doing Business – 18% more reforms than in the previous year.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 9 of the 20 economies narrowing the gap with the regulatory frontier the most since 2009. Low-income economies narrowed this gap twice as much as high-income economies did.
Singapore topped 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 Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.
Doing Business collected data for the first time this year in four economies: Libya, Myanmar, San Marino, and South Sudan.
Case studies highlighting good practices in 6 of the areas measured by Doing Business indicator sets are featured in the report: the role of minimum capital requirements in starting a business; risk-based inspections in dealing with construction permits; the cost structure in getting electricity; single window systems in trading across borders; e-filing and e-payment in paying taxes; and e-courts in enforcing contracts.
This year’s report presents a separate chapter about research on the effects of business regulations. There is a rapidly growing body of empirical research examining the impact of improvements in many of the regulatory areas tracked by the Doing Business indicators, and this chapter provides a useful—and encouraging—synthesis.
About Doing Business: measuring for impact 20
Research on the effects of business regulations 30
Why are minimum capital requirements a concern for entrepreneurs? 41
What role should risk-based inspections play in construction? 46
Tackling high electricity connection costs: Trinidad and Tobago’s new approach 52
Implementing electronic tax ?ling and payments in Malaysia 56
Implementing trade single windows in Singapore, Colombia and Azerbaijan 60
Improving court efficiency: the Republic of Korea’s e-court experience 66
Starting a business 72
Dealing with construction permits 77
Getting electricity 82
Registering property 86
Getting credit 90
Protecting investors 96
Paying taxes 100
Trading across borders 105
Enforcing contracts 110
Resolving insolvency 114
Annex: employing workers 118
Data notes 130
Ease of doing business and distance to frontier 155
Summaries of Doing Business reforms in 2012/13 159
Country tables 173
Employing workers data 237