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Belarus 58th on World Bank’s Doing Business chart

MINSK, 23 October (BelTA) – A new IFC and World Bank report “Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises” finds that Belarus ranks 58th among 185 economies globally on the ease of doing business, co-author of the report Valentina Saltan told reporters via a telephone conference.

After a traditional review last year Belarus moved up to 60th position from 69th. Thus, compared with last year, Belarus improved its rankings by two notches. Last year’s report was revised in the wake of new updated data, and inclusion of two new countries -Malta and Barbados.

Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; United States; Denmark; Norway; United Kingdom; The Republic Of Korea; Georgia and Australia. Georgia was a new entrant to the top 10. Poland was the global top improver in the past year. Besides Poland, nine other economies are recognized as having the most improved ease of doing business across several areas of regulation as measured by the report: Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan.

Belarus made it to the top-10 improvers who have reached significant on the ease of doing business since 2005, finishing in the third position. The list here is led by Georgia, followed by Rwanda. Behind Belarus are Burkina Faso, Macedonia, Egypt, Mali, Colombia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Regarding the ratings of Belarus and its partners in the Customs Union and the SES, Belarus is behind the Republic of Kazakhstan who holds the 49th position but is ahead of Russia who is 112th and Ukraine who is 137th. Belarus is slightly lagging behind Poland, who is 55th.

Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2011 through May 2012.

According to the report, Belarus improved its positions in five categories of 10. In two of them the progress has been significant. In Paying Taxes Belarus went up 29 notches from 158th to 129th. Considerable improvements were made in Dealing with Construction Permits. The country climbed up from 42nd to 30th here. Belarus improved its ratings in Getting Electricity from the 173rd to 171st place, in Enforcing Contracts from 14th to 13th, Trading Across Borders from 154th to 151st. Belarus left where it was in Starting a Business and Registering Property (9th and 3rd respectively). Belarus’ ratings worsened in Getting Credit where the country went down from 97th to 104th, Protecting Investors from 79th to 82nd, Resolving Insolvency from 42nd to 56th.

The World Bank and IFC experts outlined two reforms which improved Belarus’ going business conditions and a reform that put additional obstacles in the area.

According to the experts of the international organizations, important reforms were made in the field of taxation and resolving insolvency. Belarus made paying taxes easier and less costly for companies by reducing the profit tax rate and encouraging the use of electronic filing and payment systems. Apart from that, Belarus enhanced its insolvency process by exempting the previously state-owned property of a privatized company from the bankruptcy proceeding, requiring that immovable property not sold in the auction be offered to creditors for purchase and allowing immovable property to be sold without proof of state registration in a bankruptcy auction if there are no funds to pay for the registration.

Belarus made starting a business more difficult by increasing the cost of business registration and the cost to obtain a company seal, the experts stated.