Uzbekistan undertook three business reforms in 2017-2018 and occupied the 76th position among 190 economies ranked in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report released today. Last year Uzbekistan had climbed 13 positions to 74th, and was among ten best improvers.
Uzbekistan has implemented 35 business reforms over the past 16 years. More than two-thirds of these reforms have been implemented in the last seven years. Most of these reforms were implemented in the areas of Starting a Business (an area where Uzbekistan performs best, with a global ranking of 12), Paying Taxes, Getting Credit and Registering Property.
Uzbekistan kept implementing reforms in 2017-2018, having improved in three out of the ten areas measured by Doing Business, Trading across Border, Protecting Minority Investors, and Paying Taxes.
In the area of Protecting Minority Investors, Uzbekistan adopted legislation clarifying the ownership and control structures of listed companies.
Uzbekistan made Paying Taxes less costly by introducing new classification criteria for enterprises. The new classification allows small enterprises to pay a single social contribution at a fixed rate, but not less than 65% of the minimum wage for each employee.
The country also made Trading across Borders faster. Namely, the authorities introduced a new version of its national trade single window’s website, allowing for electronic request and payment of various certificates required for export, such as certificates of origin and phytosanitary certificates. With the implementation of these new features, the overall time of documentary compliance for exports has decreased from 174 hours to 96 hours.
In the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots, respectively, for a second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; United States; United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia.
This year’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda. With six reforms each, Djibouti and India are in the top 10 for a second consecutive year. Afghanistan, and Turkey, top improvers for the first time, implemented record single-year reforms, with five and seven, respectively.
“The diversity among the top improvers shows that economies of all sizes and income levels, and even those in conflict can advance the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises. Doing Business provides a road map that different governments can use to increase business confidence, innovation, and growth and reduce corruption,” said Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist.
Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,500 business reforms have been carried out in 186 of the 190 economies Doing Business monitors.
The full report is available at www.doingbusiness.org. The datasets on Uzbekistan are available at http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/uzbekistan.