Bloomberg News

Record Sub-Saharan Nations Make Business Changes, Survey Shows

October 19, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A record number of sub-Saharan African nations made changes to make it easier to open and operate businesses, a World Bank report showed.

About four out of five, or 78 percent, of governments in the world’s poorest region improved procedures to run a company, according to the Washington-based organization’s 2012 Doing Business report, which measures the ease of conducting business in 183 nations.

“This is good news for entrepreneurs in the region, where starting and running a business is still costlier and more complex than in any other region of the world,” it said. “In a region where relatively little attention was paid to the regulatory environment only eight years ago, regulatory reforms making it easier to do business were implemented in 36 of 46 economies.”

Cape Verde’s ranking improved the most among sub-Saharan African nations, jumping 10 spots to 119th. Mauritius was the highest-ranked country in the region at 23rd, followed by South Africa at 35th. Rwanda, which climbed to 67th from 143rd in the 2010 report, rose to 45.

The number of changes made by governments worldwide rose 13 percent to 245, below the record of 287 set in the 2010 report.

Singapore was ranked at No. 1, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the U.S. and Denmark. The U.K. dropped to 7th place from 6th and Norway advanced to 6th. South Korea made it into the top 10 nations for the first time at No. 8.

Morocco, Moldova and Macedonia improved the most among nations that implemented changes in three or more categories, the report said. Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Burundi were in the top 10 nations that implemented the most changes.

--With assistance from Sandrine Rastello in Washington. Editors: Gordon Bell, Digby Lidstone

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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