Ease of Doing Business: International Policy Experience and Evidence

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Since 2006, the World Bank has been ranking almost 200 countries in terms of their business environment and the “ease of doing business” in these economies. The rationale behind this is the importance of a thriving private sector in promoting high and inclusive growth and development. It is argued that the easier it is to establish and run a business, the more investors will be encouraged to invest, and thus more employment is generated.

In June 2013, the APEC Policy Support Unit’s EoDB Interim Assessment 2009-2012 showed that APEC’s combined improvement across the five EoDB priority areas between the period 2009 and 2012 was equal to 11.5 percent, which exceeded the 2012 pro rata benchmark of 10 percent improvement. The APEC Economic Committee and member economies agreed to continue to work on implementing the EoDB Initiative. As an input to that effort, this paper reviews the international evidence on the key areas of doing business, spanning: a) starting a business, b) getting credit, c) protecting investors, d) paying taxes, e) trading across borders, f) enforcing contracts, and g) resolving insolvency.