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India making it easier to do business: World Bank

India is one of the 40 most-improved economies which made significant changes in business regulation at a steady pace in 2009 to make it easier for firms to operate, according to a new report.

world Updated: Nov 04, 2010 11:21 IST

India is one of the 40 most-improved economies which made significant changes in business regulation at a steady pace in 2009 to make it easier for firms to operate, according to a new report.

Since 2005, India has implemented 18 business regulation reforms in seven areas, creating more opportunities for local firms, according to the "Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs" report.

Many of these reforms focused on technology-implementing electronic business registration, electronic filing for taxes, an electronic collateral registry, and online submission of customs forms and payments, notes the report.

The eighth in a series of annual reports published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, the report ranks 183 economies on key aspects of business regulation for domestic firms.

Since 2005, business regulation has become more effective for entrepreneurs worldwide, with about 85 per cent of the world's economies making it easier for firms to operate, thanks to 1,511 improvements in business regulations, it says.

Other economies in South Asia are also improving regulation with faster, transparent, electronic systems, the report says.

Pakistan, the region's highest-ranking economy on the regulatory ease of doing business (with a global ranking of 83 among 183 economies), reduced the time for exporting by improving electronic communication between the Karachi Port authorities and private terminals in the past year.

"New technology underpins regulatory best practice around the world," said Dahlia Khalifa, an author of the report. "Technology makes compliance easier, less costly, and more transparent."

Doing Business 2011 finds that from June 2009 through May 2010, four of eight economies in South Asia reformed business regulation to expand opportunity for local firms.

Globally, doing business remains easiest in the high-income economies of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development and most difficult in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

But developing economies are increasingly active. In the past year, 66 per cent reformed business regulation, up from 34 per cent six years earlier.

For the fifth year running, Singapore leads in the ease of doing business, followed by Hong Kong SAR China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among the top 25 economies, 18 made things even easier over the past year.