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World Bank ranks Latvia above Estonia in doing business

By Anatol Steven. 25.10.2011

PM Valdis Dombrovskis
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World Bank ranks Latvia above Estonia, France and Switzerland in ease of doing business

It’s official. Latvia is now the best place in the Baltics to do business. Estonia has suffered in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s “Doing Business 2012” rankings this year, tumbling six places to 24th. Latvia, meanwhile, has jumped 10 places to 21st.
The report covers the period of June 2010 to May 2011, rating 183 countries on criteria such as ease of registering new businesses and property, enforcing contracts and paying taxes.
Estonia now finds itself behind Macedonia and Thailand. While Latvia is also still behind Thailand, it is now ahead of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Latvia is also just one place behind Japan and two places behind Germany.
At the top of the ease of doing business list are Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand; at the bottom are the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and civil-war stricken Chad.
Latvia is among 12 countries where reforms have substantially improved business conduct over the last year. These countries have achieved rapid improvement in their business environment.
Among Latvia's new reforms are: facilitating business start-ups by reducing the requirements for business start-up capital; simplifying the application procedure for the installation of electricity connections; simplifying the registration of real estate; providing access to the property tax databases of local governments; and improving the regulatory framework for insolvencies.
To see the Doing Business 2012 report and list in full, go to: Business/Documents/Annual-Reports/English/DB12-FullReport.pdf
[pictured: Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis at a State Chancellery press conference on the report]


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