SOUTH Africa has dropped six places from number 29 last year to 35 this year on the World Bank’s Doing Business report. This year’s report shows that SA has ceded its top position in sub-Saharan Africa to Mauritius, who are ranked 27th in the world
The report ranks 178 economies on the ease of doing business based on 10 indicators of business regulation.
The rankings track indicators of the time and cost to meet government requirements in business startup, operation, trade, taxation, and closure.
They do not track variables such as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions or crime rates. Since 2003 Doing Business has inspired or informed more than 113 reforms worldwide.
Singapore, for the second year, tops the aggregate rankings. The rest of the top 25, in order, are New Zealand, the US, Hong Kong (China), Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Thailand, Switzerland, Estonia, Georgia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Austria.
The top-ranked countries in sub-Saharan Africa are Mauritius (27), SA (35), Namibia (43), Botswana (51), and Kenya (72).
In 2006/07, 24 African countries implemented 49 reforms. In the regional rankings on the pace of reform, however Africa fell from third place to fifth, overtaken by South Asia and by the Middle East and North Africa.
Ghana and Kenya both rank among the top 10 reformers worldwide this year, and made the most significant advance in the aggregate ease of doing business rankings among countries in Africa. Mauritius, with six reforms, tops the rankings in Africa on the ease of doing business.
Burkina Faso and Mozambique continue to become more business-friendly, noted the researchers. — businessday.