The worst business regulations in the world

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Doing Business in 2006 was published today (midnight GMT), tracking the state of red tape across the world with the usual sparky reporting and jaw-dropping data. (OK, I'm biased: my name is in the acknowledgements.)

There are many wise things to be said about this data, and I'll try to say them over the next few days. But since this is a blog let me go for the cheapest headline. The top ten business environments in the world, as measured by the 'Ease of Doing Business index':

1. New Zealand
2. Singapore
3. United States
4. Canada
5. Norway
6. Australia
7. Hong Kong, China
8. Denmark
9. United Kingdom
10. Japan

Now for the worst ten:

146. Mali
147. Lao, PDR
148. Congo, Rep.
149. Togo
150. Niger
151. Sudan
152. Chad
153. Central African Republic
154. Burkina Faso
155. Congo, Dem. Rep.

As we've discovered in previous years, it seems that the poorest countries are also the ones with the most intrusive regulations. Analysis to follow from both of us and from our guest blogger, Iva, but meanwhile, use this new tool to create your own rankings.

Update: Join the online discussion on DB in 2006.

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