UAE remains best Middle East country for doing business


World Bank, business, Mena region, UAE, Dubai, Saudi,

Dubai - UAE an inspiration for business regulatory reforms, said World Bank.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 2:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 4:38 PM

The UAE remains best country in the Mena region to do business for yet another year as it introduced four new reforms in the last 12 months, World Bank said in its latest report.
World Bank praised the UAE, saying business regulatory reforms introduced by the country serve as inspiration.
Though the Emirates slipped five rankings globally to 16th positions in World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, but UAE is still more business friendly than the countries like Finland, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Switzerland and a number of other developed and developing countries.
The UAE introduced four new reforms last year about starting a new business, deal with construction permits, protecting minority investors and cross-border trading to make it easier to do business in the country, joining 115 other countries who made it easier to do business there. In total, 190 economies were assessed in the report.
"Business regulatory reforms across the Gulf economies have been on a steady rise. These changes are motivated in part by the urgent need for economic diversification. Successful reforms in neighbouring states, such as the UAE, have also served as inspiration. Saudi Arabia is the most improved economy in Doing Business 2020, with a total of eight reforms," World Bank said in its new report.
Among the four reforms introduced last year, the UAE made starting a business less expensive by reducing the fee for business incorporation; deal with construction permits was made easier by using a risk-based approach to reduce the number of inspections; increased minority investor protections by providing for qualification of directors in case of prejudicial conflicts of interest; and made trading across borders easier by reducing the time to export by fully digitising certificates of origin and the cost to import by issuing certificates of conformity that cover multiple shipments.
Regionally, other countries also introduced a host of reforms, especially Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait as all these were rated among top 10 improvers.
These reforms helped Saudi Arabia - the most improved economy globally in the past 12 months with eight reforms - jumped from 92 to 62 while Bahrain rose from 62 to 43 ranking. Kuwait also jumped from 97th position to 83rd.
Regionally, the UAE is followed by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait.
"It is a year of records for economies in Mena. The next generation of reforms should focus on transparency, fair competition and good governance to make Mena open for business and attract investments needed to create jobs for youth and women," said Ferid Belhaj, regional vice-president for Mena at World Bank.
Globally, the ten economies scoring the highest on the ease of doing business rankings were New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, US, Georgia, UK, Norway, and Sweden. Top performers typically had online business incorporation processes, electronic tax filing platforms, and online procedures for property transfers.

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