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Author: Stuart Rock
Written on: 05 January 2018
Last updated: 02 February 2018


Business, Regulation
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UK in top ten for ease of doing business

For business policy wonks, the World Bank's Doing Business report is something of a Bible. Its 2018 report ranks the UK seventh in the world for the ease of doing business.

The top ten nations are: New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Norway, Georgia and Sweden.

Doing Business assesses 190 economies by 11 separate indicators. While the UK is ranked seventh overall for ease of doing business, there are many countries from whom we could learn in respect of "best practice" in each of the 11 indicators. So, for example, it takes one procedure and half a day to start a business in New Zealand. In terms of getting electricity, South Korea and Germany are more switched on. When it comes to registering a property, it takes just one procedure and one day to do so in Georgia and in Portugal. Singapore is the most efficient regime for paying taxes and for enforcing contracts.

The report does identify two indicators in which the UK is a clear leader - in the depth of available credit information, and in our low costs of documentary compliance for importers. As Brexit looms, we trust that the Government will be looking hard at the speed of Canada, Poland and Spain when it comes to export documentary compliance, and the Austrians, Belgians and Danes for border efficiency.

Doing Business is a massive piece of work - the UK economy profile runs to 70 pages - and as a global comparative league table there are few other publications like it. Getting the UK further up this league table would be a serious achievement.


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