Monday 18 December 2017

State's business-friendly rank slips

World Bank criticises e-deeds system but we're still ninth-best country for commerce

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRELAND has the world's ninth-most business-friendly regulation, down one place from last year, according to a World Bank report. Singapore topped the list.

The report, which helps private investors decide where to direct funds by looking at the ease of doing business for small and medium-sized companies, showed some emerging economies losing ground, with Brazil down to 127 from 124 and Russia at 123 from 116.

China, which was 79 this year versus 78 a year ago, is still among the countries that have improved the most over the past five years.

The report rates countries on rules that affect starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and closing a business.

It reviews regulations on employing workers and the availability of reliable electricity connections, though they are not criteria for the ranking.

It ignores criteria such as macroeconomic stability, corruption and regulations specific to foreign investment.

Ireland was praised for low taxes and the ease with which contracts can be enforced.

The country was criticised for the poor system for electronic deeds, which the World Bank said "increases the risk of conflict between laws, such as when determining the priority rules for secured creditors" as well as being costly and not very transparent.

The Bank also highlighted the number of cases the Commercial Court here must deal with since the beginning of the financial crisis.

The report singles out Singapore for ease of importing and exporting; noting that just four documents are needed to perform either function.

Irish Independent

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