October 31, 2017 (Doing Business), Washington DC: Reforming to Create Jobs, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 15th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.
Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.
Data in Doing Business 2018 are current as of June 1, 2017. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs finds that entrepreneurs in 119 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework last year. Between June 2016 and June 2017, the report, which measures 190 economies worldwide, documented 264 business reforms. Reforms reducing the complexity and cost of regulatory processes in the area of starting a business and getting credit were the most common in 2016/17. The next most common reforms were in the area of trading across borders. Read about business reforms.
- Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Malawi, Kosovo, India, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Nigeria, Djibouti and El Salvador were the most improved economies in 2016/17 in areas tracked by Doing Business. Together, these 10 top improvers implemented 53 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business.
- Economies in all regions are implementing reforms easing the process of doing business, but Europe and Central Asia continues to be the region with the highest share of economies implementing at least one reform—79% of economies in the region have implemented at least one business regulatory reform, followed by South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The report features four case studies in the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property and resolving insolvency, as well as an annex on labor market regulation. See all case studies.