Kenya makes gains on ease of doing business

Randal Sanchez
November 1, 2018

Kenya maintained its strong business reform agenda, carrying out five key reforms in the past year to improve the business climate for small and medium-sized businesses, says the World Bank Group's Doing Business report.

The country was ranked at 70th in 2002 and 85th in 2009. The survey ranks countries on an aggregated score of 0 to 100, with higher marks indicating more conducive conditions for businesses while lower results demonstrate the opposite.

Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set the aim of reaching top 50 of the rankings and we have improved steadily from 142 to 77 in the last 4 years.

He added, "The decline in the business environment is partially due to the to lack of interest on the part of federal government especially after the 18th Constitutional Amendment when coordination between the federation and the provinces decreased".

"[Any remaining] challenges will add to the government's determination to introduce significant improvements into services and legislation", he added.

The bank said during the past year, starting a business was made easier by enhancing the online one-stop registration system, replacing several forms for incorporation with a single application, and establishing information exchange between the registry and the tax authority.

India on Wednesday jumped 23 places to secure 77th position in 2019 World Bank (WB) ease of doing business ranking (DBR) among 190 countries. In addition, this year also saw the highest number of economies carrying out reforms, with 40 of the region's 48 economies implementing at least one reform, compared to the previous high of 37 economies two years ago.

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Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP, said, "India is now ranked first among South Asian countries compared to 6th rank in 2014".

This year's report indicated that Afghanistan had moved up the most, by 16 spots, from 183th in last year's ranking to 167th this year.

In Malaysia, special task force Pemudah initiates and drives regulatory reforms and improvements within the Doing Business indicator areas in Malaysia.

The rank has improved by a whooping 129 notches with regards to "construction permits", 66 points in "trading across borders", 19 in "starting a business", and 7 points in "getting credit".

Led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, different government entities of the UAE announced a host of initiatives such as reducing different government fees, free commercial licence for some time, freezing school fees, etc over the last one year to improve competitiveness and make the UAE more business-friendly for foreign as well as local entities.

New Zealand topped the list of 190 countries in ease of doing business, followed by Singapore, Denmark, and Hong Kong. India has also managed to increase quality control efforts, the World Bank stated.

"The five areas that need more improvement are in registering property, starting a business, insolvency and taxation and enforcement of contracts".

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