Uzbekistan undertook four business climate reforms in the past year and earned a spot among the world’s top twenty most improved economies for ease of doing business, the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study says.
This year Uzbekistan ranked 69th in the global ranking among 190 states with a score of 69.9 out of 100, having moved up from 76th place in 2018. The country along with four other states in the Europe and Central Asia region, including Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kosovo, was among the 20 economies where business climates improved the most.
Highlights of Uzbekistan’s reforms are:
- Strengthening minority investor protections by increasing shareholders’ rights and role in major corporate decisions, clarifying ownership and control structures, and requiring greater corporate transparency.
- Making tax payments easier by merging the infrastructure tax with the corporate income tax.
- Making cross-border trade easier by introducing risk-based inspections and simplifying import documentary compliance.
- Making contract enforcement easier by introducing a consolidated law on voluntary mediation, establishing financial incentives for the parties to attempt mediation, and publishing performance measurement reports on local commercial courts.
The Doing Business 2020 documents reforms implemented in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies over a 12-month period ending May 1, 2019. The areas measured in the report are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. One additional area, employing workers, is also measured but is not included in this year’s rankings.
The ten economies scoring the highest on the ease of doing business rankings were New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR China, Denmark, Republic of Korea, United States, Georgia, United Kingdom, Norway, and Sweden. Top performers typically had online business incorporation processes, electronic tax filing platforms, and online procedures for property transfers.
Business-friendly environments are associated with lower levels of poverty, and improved regulatory efficiency can stimulate entrepreneurship, startups, innovation, access to credit, and investment. The latest edition of the study is the 17th in an annual series that evaluates regulations enhancing or constraining business activity for small and medium-size enterprises.