RESEARCH | A recent research initiative of the World Bank attempts to measure the extent to which different countries are welcoming business by optimizing their related laws and regulations. Surely, there are many critical questions to be asked. Nonetheless, with the Netherlands ranking 30th on the list, it is clear that the Dutch economy still has a world to win in this regard.
The Ease of Doing Business Index is an initiative of the World Bank. It is based on the extensive study of laws and regulations, supported by thousands of governmental officials, lawyers, business consultants, accountants and other professionals who routinely administer or advise on legal and regulatory requirements in 183 economies around the world.
The index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting business. While fewer and simpler regulations often imply higher rankings, empirical research is needed to establish the subtleties of the optimal level op business regulation e.g. what the duration of court procedures should be and what the optimal degree of social protection is. However, it is out of the question that improvement of these regulations generally has a strong positive effect on economic growth, the World Bank argues.
The five countries that are ranked highest in 2010 are the following:
2. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong
4. United States
5. United Kingdom
The five countries ranked lowest are:
180. Sao Tome and Principe
182. Democratic Republic of the Congo
183. Central African Republic
The Netherlands ranks 30th.
Read more about economy rankings.