THE LEVANT IN COLLABORATION WITH MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS – The UAE has been named one of the top 10 economies in the world for improving the business environment for local companies.
The World Bank’s Doing Business 2015 report said the UAE had enhanced the administrative efficiency of its land registry, improved access to credit information, and strengthened minority investor protections during the past year.
Globally, the report ranked the UAE 22nd, up three places on last year’s list, making it the highest placed country in the Middle East for doing business, beating Saudi Arabia (49), Qatar (50), Bahrain (53), Oman (66) and Kuwait (86) out of a total of 189 economies covered.
The World Bank Group report found that amid unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, local entrepreneurs faced challenging circumstances in the past year.
It said that 11 economies in the Middle East and North Africa reformed in at least one area tracked by the report in 2013/14.
With 55 percent of the region’s economies reforming business regulations — compared with 60 percent in East Asia and the Pacific and 74 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa — the scope of business regulatory reforms remained narrow.
It added that the reforms did not span all areas measured by doing business, such as enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
“While regional unrest continues to roil the Middle East and North Africa, several economies in the region have made notable efforts to improve their business environment,” said Rita Ramalho, Doing Business report lead author, World Bank Group.
“In the past year, the United Arab Emirates improved its business environment the most in the region across multiple areas captured by the report, making it one of the 10 top global improvers.
“It enhanced the administrative efficiency of its land registry, improved access to credit information, and strengthened minority investor protections.”
The report found that Singapore tops 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 New Zealand; Hong Kong, China; Denmark; the Republic of Korea; Norway; the United States; the United Kingdom; Finland; and Australia.
The report said that local entrepreneurs in 123 economies saw improvements in their regulatory environment in the past year.
The annual report analyses regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency.