Yup, it's that time of year again...Doing Business 2010 has just been released (at precisely 9/9/09 at 00:09 GMT, no snickers please). The widely cited rankings from the report are now publicly available, and perhaps one of the most important results this year is that Rwanda has been ranked the top reformer, the first time for a Sub-Saharan African economy.
One other headline from the report caught my attention. More governments reformed this year than in any year since 2004 (the first year of Doing Business). And much of this reform occurred in low- and lower-middle income economies. The financial crisis and its impact on the global economy clearly haven't reduced the commitment of governments in the developing world to improving their business environments.
Here are a few more highlights from the report:
Since 2004 Doing Business has been tracking regulatory reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business. Despite the challenges presented by the financial crisis, the number of reforms hit a record level this year. Between June 2008 and May 2009, 287 reforms were recorded in 131 economies, 20% more than the year before. Reformers focused on making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening property rights and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.
Two regions were particularly active this year: Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 26 of the region’s 27 economies reformed business regulation in at least one area covered by Doing Business. Governments in the Middle East and North Africa are reforming at a similar rate, with 17 of 19 reforming in 2008/09. In both cases, competition among neighbors helped inspire widespread reform.
Here is an overview of the report. Here are the complete rankings of all 183 economies. And for fellow bloggers out there, here is a page with the most important figures from the report that can be freely copied.