In nurturing entrepreneurs, the World Bank report makes a special mention of the UAE’s progress in introducing new reforms and entry into the top 20 in the global ranking. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The UAE jumped 10 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking to 11th position globally in 2019 from 21st position last year to lead the Arab world for the sixth consecutive year.

The country is fast closing in to become one among the top 10 in the Ease of Doing Business ranking of 190 countries by the World Bank.

In nurturing entrepreneurs, the World Bank report makes a special mention of the UAE’s progress in introducing new reforms and entry into the top 20 in the global ranking.

The World Bank report ranks economies on the basis of ease of doing business from 1—190. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. The rankings for all economies are benchmarked to May 2018.

Among the ten topics, the UAE scored very high on factors such as getting electricity connection (with top score of 1), paying taxes (2), dealing with construction permits (5) registering property (7), Enforcing of contracts (9) and protection of minority investors (15).

In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the UAE topped the ease of doing business followed by Morocco at 60th position. This year, the region hosts an economy in the global top 20 grouping, with the UAE’s maiden entry in 11th place and one top improver, Djibouti.

Overall, the UAE is far ahead of its GCC peers in global ranking and the ten topics on which the ranking is based. In the GCC Bahrain came second with an overall ranking of 62 followed by Oman 78, Qatar 83, Saudi Arabia 92 and Kuwait 97.

In the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots, respectively, for a second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; United States; United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia.

World Bank observed that governments around the world have made significant progress in enhancing entrepreneurship. “Governments have the enormous task of fostering an environment where entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises can thrive,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Sound and efficient business regulations are critical for entrepreneurship and a thriving private sector. Without them, we have no chance to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity around the world.”

China, one of this year’s top 10 improvers, advanced more than 30 spots to 46th place in the global rankings. India became South Asia’s top-ranked economy, advancing 23 spots to 77th place in the global ranking. India was ranked at the 142nd position among 190 nations when the Modi government came to power in 2014. “This year’s results clearly demonstrate government commitment in many economies, large and small, to nurture entrepreneurship and private enterprise,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.

The report noted that there is a wide range of countries reforming this year — it’s more universal. No one questions that these things are important any more, such as the need for a simple process to start a business. In the last two or three years, “all the large emerging markets — such as China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia — have taken on this agenda,” said Sylvia Solf, head of the World Bank Group’s Reform Advisory Unit, which advises governments on ways to improve the business environment.

“The fact that they are doing this is groundbreaking.”