The UK ranks as the sixth best country to do business, beating other big economies such as the US, Germany and Japan. The Doing Business 2016 report, published by the World Bank last Tuesday (27 October), reveals how the UK has jumped 2 places since the last report, but still lags behind countries including Singapore, New Zealand and Denmark.
The report looks at business regulations in 189 developed and developing economies to assess how easy it is to do business in each country. Topics include starting a business – an area that is crucial to encouraging startups and growing SMEs, which make up the driving force behind many of the world's economies.
The UK's success in the index has been partly down to improvements such as increased use of digital resources and tools; the report gives Companies House's simple process in preparing and registering a limited company as an example.
Startups need quick and easy processes so they can focus on business instead of using precious time on complex paperwork. The World Bank highlights that Companies House has made its system "faster, more convenient and less expensive" for entrepreneurs.
With the UK's economy currently showing the quickest growth of all G7 nations, the government wants to get the country into the report's top 5. Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, welcomes the report, with a reminder that the government is taking steps so the country can benefit from the growing economy. These include cuts to red tape and tax, a boost to skills and productivity through apprenticeships, and developing trade with emerging markets.
Mr Javid adds:
This is international recognition of the UK’s strong and stable business environment, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit. Sajid Javid, UK Government
Top 10 improvers
Besides the highest-ranking nations, the report also recognises developing economies making business-friendly reforms:
- Costa Rica