BELGRADE (Serbia), October 31 (SeeNews) - Serbia has climbed four positions to 43rd place in the Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report of the World Bank Group released on Tuesday, the bank's Serbian office said.
In addition, Serbia was among the top 34 countries worldwide in terms of improving their business environment in three or more areas in 2016/2017.
The distance to frontier (DTF) score of Serbia rose to 73.13 points from 72.87 last year, as the country made starting a business easier, improved the reliability of its land administration system and made enforcing contracts easier by adopting a new enforcement law, the World Bank said in the report.
In last year's ranking, Serbia was in 47th spot.
"Over the past 15 years, Serbia has made significant progress in several Doing Business areas and implemented a total of 28 reforms, mainly in the area of Registering Property (with 6 reforms), Starting a Business and Resolving Insolvency (5 each). The number of reforms in Serbia over the past 15 years compare well with the global per-country average of 17 and ECA average of 28," Thomas Lubeck, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe, said.
As a result, starting a new business in Serbia now takes only 5.5 days compared to 56 days 15 years ago, which is 3 days less than the average across OECD high-income economies, Lubeck noted. The time to resolve a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court in Serbia has also been significantly reduced over the past 15 years, to 635 days now compared to 1,028 days in 2003.
Over the past year, Serbia carried out reforms in three areas: starting a business, contract enforcement, and registering property. The country improved the reliability of its land administration systems by implementing a geographic information system and adopted a new enforcement law that broadens and clarifies the responsibilities of enforcement agents. Moreover, the country made starting a business easier by reducing the signature certification fee and increasing the efficiency of the registry, reducing the time for business registration. As a result, the cost to start a new business has dropped from 6.5% to 2.3% of the income per capita, the World Bank said.
Serbia is ranked 10th when it comes to dealing with construction permits in this year’s report, but underperforms in the area of Getting Electricity. It takes 125 days to connect to the electricity grid, much more than the average of 79 days across OECD high-income economies, the World Bank said.
The top-ranked economy from the region of Southeast Europe (SEE) is Macedonia, in 11th position, one spot down from last year. The second best destination for doing business in SEE is Slovenia, which ranks 37th, seven spots down from last year, followed by Kosovo in 40th place, Montenegro in 42nd place, and Bulgaria in 50th place compared to 38th spot last year.
Following are details on the SEE countries covered in the Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report:
||Ease of doing business (rank)
||Starting a business (rank)
||Dealing with construction permits (rank)
|Bosnia and Herzegovina
The report covers 190 economies. It measures regulations affecting the life of a business, such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, acquiring electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.