The World Bank has published its Doing Business 2011 report with participation by tax specialists from the Russell Bedford global accounting group.
According to the report -"Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs"- in the past year, governments in 117 economies carried out 216 regulatory reforms aimed at making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights, and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.
Globally, doing business remains easiest in the high-income economies of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and most difficult in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. But developing economies are increasingly active. In the past year, 66 percent reformed business regulation, up from 34 percent six years earlier.
Doing Business 2011 pioneers a new measure showing how much business regulation has changed in 174 economies since 2005. China and India are among the top 40 most-improved economies. Among the top 30 most-improved economies, a third is from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Worldwide, more than half the regulatory changes recorded in the past year eased business start-up, trade, and the payment of taxes. Many of the improvements involve new technologies.
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.
Kazakhstan improved business regulation for local entrepreneurs the most in the past year. This year’s list of the 10 most-improved economies also includes three in Sub-Saharan Africa — Rwanda (a consistent reformer of business regulation), Cape Verde, and Zambia — as well as Peru, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Hungary, Grenada, and Brunei Darussalam.
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. The data and analysis are used to help the World Bank to advise policy-makers in developing countries and by governments worldwide in identifying regulatory reforms to improve the ability of entrepreneurs to do business.
Russell Bedford International joined the World Bank Doing Business project in January 2009 as a pro-bono Global Contributor. Russell Bedford member firms contributed data to the Paying Taxes survey, which measures the number of payments and time necessary for a business to comply with the applicable tax regulations. In addition, it measures the real tax burden faced by entrepreneurs by looking at all the taxes and mandatory payments they have to make.
For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit: www.doingbusiness.org.
For information on Russell Bedford International, contact Kempton Bedell-Harper on +44 20 7410 0339. Alternatively, visit the website www.russellbedford.com .
Established in 1983, Russell Bedford International is a global network of independent firms of accountants, auditors, tax advisers and business consultants.
Ranked amongst the world's leading accounting and audit networks, Russell Bedford is represented by some 460 partners, 5000 staff and 200 offices in more than 80 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
All Russell Bedford affiliates are well-established firms offering international business advice and services to local and multinational clients. Most provide a full range of services comprising accounting, auditing, tax advice, general business guidance and financial consulting. In addition, many have special expertise in particular fields, such as international taxation or information technology.
In January 2008 Russell Bedford International was named one of the first 17 full members of the IFAC Forum of Firms after reporting it had implemented a globally coordinated quality assurance programme, committed to the use of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), and met other specific ethics requirements.