Poland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Armenia and Mongolia have made the most significant improvements in their business environments in 2012, according to the World Bank's Doing Business report for 2013, which ranks the ease of doing business in 185 countries based on 11 indicators.
Poland made the biggest move up the ranking from the 2012 report, gaining 19 places. The World Bank also recognised Greece’s crisis-evoked efforts to curb bureaucracy, as the country moved up 11 places in the list.
As in previous years, Singapore topped the ranking, with Hong Kong, New Zealand, the US and Denmark making up the top five. Having introduced six new reforms in 2012, Georgia joined the top 10 countries for the first time, moving up six places to ninth. The countries that lost the most ground were Yemen, which was down 17 places to 118th, and Maldives, which dropped 16 positions to 95th. African countries dominate the bottom of the ranking, as in 2012, with Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Eritrea in the bottom positions.
The report shows that since the World Bank started publishing its annual assessments in 2003, conditions for investments have improved significantly. Between 2011 and 2012, 108 countries introduced a total of 201 regulatory reforms. The average time for starting a business has decreased by 40% since 2005 to 30 days. In the same period, the time to transfer property dropped by 38% to 55 days.