The easiest place to do business in the world

The World Bank has issued its latest Doing Business index, which ranked South Africa 39th out of 185 economies in terms of ease of doing business.

Singapore was ranked as the easiest country to do business in, globally, with China taking the 2nd spot, the USA placing 4th, and the UK ranked 7th.

The ease of doing business index ranks economies from 1 to 185. For each economy, the ranking is calculated as the simple average of the percentile rankings on each of the 10 topics included in the index in Doing Business 2013.

These topics include:

  • Starting a business;
  • Dealing with construction permits;
  • Getting electricity;
  • Registering property;
  • Getting credit;
  • Protecting investors;
  • Paying taxes;
  • Trading across borders;
  • Enforcing contracts;
  • and resolving insolvency.

Doing Business presents a comparable ranking for the previous year, adjusted for any changes in methodology as well as additions of economies or topics, the World Bank said.

“One example of how the ease of doing business index is constructed: in Finland it takes 3 procedures, 14 days and 4% of property value in fees to register a property. On these 3 indicators Finland ranks in the 6th, 16th and 39th percentiles,” the world bank said.

“So, on average, Finland ranks in the 20th percentile on the ease of registering property. It ranks in the 30th percentile on starting a business, 28th percentile on getting credit, 24th percentile on paying taxes, 13th percentile on enforcing contracts, 5th percentile on trading across borders and so on.”

According to the World Bank, higher rankings indicate simpler regulation and stronger protection of property rights.

South Africa’s easy access to credit (1st percentile), and ability to protect investor’s interests (10th percentile) helped the country place higher on the overall rankings.

Dealing with construction permits (39th percentile), and the ease of paying taxes (32nd percentile) also placed South Africa favourably.

The ease of starting a business in South Africa placed in the 53rd percentile.

Access to electricity (150th percentile) was by far the lowest-ranked topic in South Africa’s ranking – with cross-border trading also proving difficult (115th percentile).

Global Top 10

Rank Economy
1 Singapore
2 Hong Kong SAR, China
3 New Zealand
4 United States
5 Denmark
6 Norway
7 United Kingdom
8 Republic of Korea
9 Georgia
10 Australia

Looking at Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa placed second overall on the continent, with Mauritius taking the top spot as easiest place to do business in Africa – having placed 19th, globally.

Sub-Saharan Africa Top 10

Rank Overall Economy
1 19 Mauritius
2 39 South Africa
3 52 Rwanda
4 59 Botswana
5 64 Ghana
6 74 Seychelles
7 87 Namibia
8 94 Zambia
9 120 Uganda
10 121 Kenya

Report: World Bank

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The easiest place to do business in the world