Middle East economies become more business friendly


The new IFC and World Bank report, Doing Business 2012, showed that 11 out of 18 economies in the Middle East and North Africa improved the ease of doing business, despite political and economic uncertainty in the region.

Saudi Arabia remained the regional leader with a global ease of doing business ranking of 12. Qatar implemented its first reforms since 2005 and climbed to 36 on the global scorecard by improving its credit information system. The United Arab Emirates further streamlined the requirements for business start-up, and improved its ranking to 33.

Morocco improved its business regulation the most compared to other global economies, climbing 21 places to 94, by simplifying the construction permitting process and easing the administrative burden of tax compliance. Since 2005, Morocco has implemented 15 business regulatory reforms.

The report found that six of the region’s 18 business regulatory reforms measured made it easier to start a business. For example, Jordan reduced the minimum capital required to start a company, and Oman’s new one-stop shop for entrepreneurs cut business registration time from seven days to three.

Over the past six years 17 economies in the Middle East and North Africa have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. “Making business regulations more efficient and accessible increases opportunities for economic growth,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “By helping businesses get started, the economies of the Middle East and North Africa can offer hope to entrepreneurs, who are the engine behind job creation.”

The report ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency, and enforcing contracts. The study’s methodology expanded this year to include indicators on getting electricity connections.

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