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Ethiopia is placed 127th out of 174 countries for ease of doing business, according to a new report.
Singapore and Hong Kong took the top spots, respectively, in the Doing Business report, published by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.
“Rwanda, the number two improver globally and top improver in Sub Saharan Africa since 2005 regarding ease of doing business, has reduced the gap with the frontier by almost half. But Rwanda is far from alone in the region: of the 50 economies advancing the most toward the frontier since 2005, 17 are in Sub Saharan Africa,” the report says.
The report says that economic activity, particularly private sector development, benefits from clear and coherent rules that set out and clarify property rights and facilitate the resolution of disputes.
It also underlines the importance of rules that enhance the predictability of economic interactions and provide contractual partners with essential protections against arbitrariness and abuse.
Where such rules are reasonably efficient in design, are transparent and accessible to those for whom they are intended and can be implemented at a reasonable cost, they are much more effective in shaping the incentives of economic agents in ways that promote growth and development.
This is what countries at the bottom of the table for ease of doing business rankings, including Ethiopia, are generally lacking, it underlines.
The report focuses particularly on the regulatory environment for small and medium-size enterprises.
It says these enterprises are key drivers of competition, growth and job creation, particularly in developing economies.
But, in these economies, up to 65 percent of economic activity takes place in the informal sector, often because of excessive bureaucracy and regulation—and in the informal sector, firms lack access to the opportunities and protections that the law provides, which in the end hinders their progress.
“Where regulation is burdensome and competition limited, success tends to depend on whom one knows. But where regulation is transparent, efficient and implemented in a simple way, it becomes easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to compete, innovate and grow,” the report concludes.
MAIN FINDINGS IN 2011/12