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AfricaMoney | August 22, 2017

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Mauritius tops Sub-Saharan Africa in Doing Business report

Mauritius tops Sub-Saharan Africa in Doing Business report

Mauritius, Rwanda and South Africa have emerged as the top three regional performers in the World Bank’s 2014 Doing Business report.

Mauritius, Rwanda and South Africa have emerged as the top three regional performers in the World Bank’s 2014 Doing Business report. Ranked globally at the 20th position, the island nation is followed by the emerging East African economy at 32nd rank while its southern neighbor tails at 41st position.

For the island nation, which was ranked at the same position last year, the report goes on to say that “many African governments may look to Mauritius as a source of good practices to inspire regulatory reforms in their own countries”. While Mauritius has improved on the ease of ‘getting credit’, ‘enforcing contracts’ and ‘resolving insolvencies’, it has taken a hit on the parameters of starting a business and obtaining construction permits. However, the overall score of the island nation has improved from 73.6 percentage points to 74.4 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Rwanda has been ranked second among the 10 most improved nations in the report recently released by the World Bank. Leap-frogging from the 52nd spot to the 32nd rank, the East African economy has undertaken a plethora of reforms such as streamlining property registration, improvement in export and import process as well as simplifying the process of paying taxes for firms.

Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala are among the other economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business on its “Distance to the frontier” rankings.

The annual survey of the ease of doing business around the world also finds an uptick in the pace of business regulation reform in the past year, with 114 economies enacting 238 reforms, compared to 108 economies and 201 reforms in 2011-12.

In Africa, 66% of countries enacted at least one reform last year, vs. 33% in 2005. Further, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 9 of the 20 economies narrowing the gap with the regulatory frontier the most since 2009: Benin, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Togo. 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.

Overall, big improvements have been made globally in reducing the amount of time it takes to start a business. In 2005, the figure was 113 days for the bottom 25% of economies, and 29 days for the rest – a gap of 85 days. The 2014 report finds that gap has narrowed to 33 days.

The World Bank Group flagship report covers 189 economies and 10 indicator sets: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders, getting credit, protecting investors, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency. This World Bank-IFC survey has been published since 2003 and is used widely as a point of reference for ease of doing business in a particular economy.

Source: World Bank 

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