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Report Finds Samoa Leads the Pacific Region in Ease of Doing Business

Washington, D.C., October 23, 2012 —Samoa provides the most business-friendly environment for local entrepreneurs in the Pacific region, according to a new report from IFC and the World Bank that measures the ease of doing business.
Released today, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises finds that 23 economies in East Asia and the Pacific have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly since 2005. Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year, while Hong Kong SAR, China, holds onto the second spot, followed by New Zealand. Australia is also among the top 10 in the global ranking on the ease of doing business.
Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu were the top performers for the Pacific. Samoa leads the region in four of the 10 indicators, including starting a business, trading across borders , protecting investors, and registering property. Fiji made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the profit tax rate—though it also introduced a capital gains tax. At the same time, Fiji made obtaining a construction permit more expensive, and transferring property and starting a business more difficult.
The report, which covers the period from June 2011 to June 2012 and which uses data for indicators that measure regulation affecting 10 key areas of the life cycle of local businesses, finds that 11 of 24 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations in the past year. China made the greatest progress in improving business regulations for local entrepreneurs, and Mongolia is the region’s top improver for the year.
“This year, Mongolia joined the global list of top 10 improvers for ease of doing business in the report, which uses data for indicators that measure regulation affecting 10 key areas of the life cycle of local businesses,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “Mongolia implemented reforms that cut regulatory hurdles and make it easier for firms to do business.”
The list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are, in this order: Singapore; Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.
About the Doing Business report series
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and protecting investors. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 185 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability, the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. This year’s report marks the 10 th edition of the global Doing Business report series. For more information about the Doing Business report series, please visit www.doingbusiness.org . Join us on Facebook .  
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org , www.miga.org , and www.ifc.org .
Regional Media Contacts:
East Asia and the Pacific
Hannfried von Hindenburg +852 2509-8115                Muhamad Al Arief +1 (202) 458-5964
E-mail: hvonhindenburg@ifc.org                         E-mail: malarief@worldbank.org