Governments around the world significantly stepped up their pace of improving business regulations in 114 economies last year – an 18 percent jump from the previous year – laying the groundwork for local entrepreneurs to expand their work, according to the new World Bank Group publication Doing Business released today. It is the 11th in a series of annual reports on the ease of doing business, and it documented 238 business regulatory reforms worldwide last year.
Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises finds that the pace of business regulatory reform continues to accelerate following the financial crisis of 2008-09. The report says that if economies around the world were to follow best practices in regulatory processes for starting a business, entrepreneurs would spend 45 million fewer days each year satisfying bureaucratic requirements.
“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.”
The report finds many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa engaged in reforms aimed at reducing burdensome regulations and building stronger legal institutions. In 2012/13, more than twice as many African economies in the region made reforms, compared to 2005. Out of the 20 economies that have most improved business regulation since 2009, nine are in Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burundi, CÃ´te d’ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Togo.