Top 10 best and worst places to do business

Asian economies lead the way in business friendliness.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

If you're a small or mid-sized business it will be easiest to do business if you're based in Asia -- places like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

A new report from the World Bank, says that Asia has about half of the top economies in the world for their ease of doing business. The report ranks 189 world economies based on 11 indicators for how easy it is to start a small or mid-sized business, from access to credit and electricity to ease of employing workers to ability to trade across borders.

"A better business climate that enables entrepreneurs to build their businesses and reinvest in their communities is key to local and global economic growth," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "Doing Business shows that economies with better business regulations are more likely to empower local entrepreneurs to create more jobs – another step in the right direction toward ending extreme poverty by 2030."

Here are the report's 10 most business-friendly economies in the world:

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. New Zealand
  4. United States
  5. Denmark
  6. Malaysia
  7. South Korea
  8. Georgia
  9. Norway
  10. United Kingdom

And the 10 economies where doing business is a challenge (from best to worst):

  1. Guinea-Bissau
  2. Venezuela
  3. Myanmar
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo
  5. Eritrea
  6. Republic of Congo
  7. South Sudan
  8. Libya
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad

But while numerous African countries are rated low for business friendliness, there are some bright spots. Compared with 2005, countries in sub-Saharan Africa last year enacted twice the number of reforms to reduce regulations and strengthen legal institutions. And of the top 20 most improved economies since 2009, nine are in sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Overall, 114 economies improved business regulations last year, an 18 percent rise from the previous year.

On average, around the world, it takes seven procedures, 25 days and costs 32 percent of income per capita in fees to start a business. According to the World Bank, if best regulatory business practices were followed in every country, entrepreneurs would spent 45 million fewer days satisfying bureaucratic requirements.

Read the full report here (full rankings on page 3).

Photo: Flickr/Sam Gao

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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