India, China among top 10 improvers

A general view shows the central business district Nairobi

A general view shows the central business district Nairobi

The UK slipped to ninth place while Norway climbed to seventh in a year when the World Bank said governments pressed ahead with a record number of reforms to business regulations and tax rules to support private businesses.

The World Bank has ranked Nigeria 146 out of 190 countries on ease of doing business. Two economies that enter the top 20 this year - the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia - have maintained such a reform momentum.

The country is said to have made starting a business easier by reducing the time needed to obtain a business licence. "Improved ranking means business-friendly and corruption-free environment and lower transactions cost which will ultimately help to attract multinationals to invest in the UAE and attract more foreign investments", Gianchandani said. India has also managed to increase quality control efforts, the World Bank stated.

And that seemed to have paid off. India's ranking in dealing with construction permits-one of the 10 parameters the World Bank looks at-jumped to 52 from 181 previous year. For example, in getting electricity and dealing with construction permits, the country ranks 167 and 166, respectively. Numerous reforms focused on improving starting a business, access to credit, paying taxes and resolving insolvency. In the 2017 report, the country was ranked 100.

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"It costs 25 percent of the income per capita to start a business in Kenya which is nearly ten times more expensive than in cote d'voire and the process takes 23 days compared to just four days in Rwanda", the report states.

The Confederation of Indian Industry, meanwhile, said in a statement: "We look forward to the continued momentum of business reforms and to supporting the government in its endeavour to make India among the top investment destinations".

Nigeria made starting a business easier by introducing an online platform to pay stamp duties. A case study in the report, which analyzes this data, finds that mandatory and annual training for relevant officials is associated with more efficient business and land registries.

China is the only economy from East Asia and the Pacific among the ranking's top 10 climbers.

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The report measures progress of economic reforms in only two cities including Delhi and Mumbai. On area where the changing nature of work is causing difficulty in Belgium's ease in doing business ranking is Belgium's Labor Act of 1971 which enacted laws which limit employing personnel on Sunday and for firms to operate on Sunday.

The country fared particularly well in its protection of minority stakeholders, in which it was ranked second out of the 190 countries studied.

"Enhanced risk-based management now allows exporters to seal their containers electronically at their own facilities; as little as five percent of shipments must undergo physical inspections", it said, adding that India also invested in port equipment, strengthened management and improved electronic document flow.

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