Lagging Swiss ease ‘barriers’ for business

Switzerland may be best in the world for competitiveness but when it comes to ease of starting a business the Alpine country lags behind 19 other countries — although it has improved over the past year, a new World Bank report says.

Lagging Swiss ease 'barriers' for business
Switzerland has made it easier to start a business by introducing online procedures, report says. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The bank’s “Doing Business 2015” report released on Wednesday ranks Singapore again as the jurisdiction with a regulatory environment most “conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm”.

New Zealand places second, followed by Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the US and the UK.

Switzerland, ranking 20th, scores well for such aspects as access to electricity and paying taxes.

But it fares poorly for the ease of starting a business, getting credit and protection of minority shareholders.

Still, Switzerland’s ranking improved from last year’s report when it placed 29th.

World Bank researchers found that Switzerland made starting a business easier by introducing online procedures.

It also strengthened minority investors protections by “increasing the level of transparency required from publicly traded companies”.

As well, Switzerland made resolving insolvency easier, the report said.

The report measured business regulations in 189 countries, using 10 indicators, including such issues as dealing with construction permits, registering property, enforcing contracts and trading across borders.

It found that this year, based on data from June 1st of this year, 123 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework for small and medium-sized businesses.

The largest number of reforms were made in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.

For more information and to read the entire report, check here.

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