SINGAPORE: Tiny Rwanda made the biggest strides in becoming business-friendly, an annual ranking by the World Bank said Wednesday, while Singapore retained its crown as the easiest country in which to do business for a fourth year.
Rwanda, the first Sub-Sahara African nation to be named the top reformer since the World Bank began its Doing Business report in 2003, jumped 76 spots to 67 by cutting bureaucratic delays to start a business and sell property, making employment laws more flexible and simplifying tax payment.
Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia and Belarus were also singled out by the bank for making positive changes.
The report ranks 183 countries based on ten indicators that measure the time and cost of government requirements in starting, operating and closing a business, trading across borders and paying taxes.
The rankings don't reflect macroeconomic policy, infrastructure, workforce skills or crime rates.
After Singapore, New Zealand ranked second, followed by Hong Kong and the United States.
The top 10 countries were unchanged from the previous report except United Kingdom at five switched places with Denmark at six.
Ireland, Canada, Australia and Norway rounded out the top 10.
The rankings of most large economies were little changed from a year earlier with Japan at 15, Germany at 25, China at 89, and Russia at 120.
Low- and lower-middle-income economies accounted for two-thirds of reforms measured by the report from June 2008 and May 2009.
Colombia was the highest-ranked Latin American country at 37 while Venezuela, at 177, was the lowest and the only country in the bottom 16 not in Africa, the bank said. - AP


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