July 13 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's city of Varna ranks first among 22 cities in three countries in Central and Southeastern Europe by best practices for starting new business, a report by the World Bank shows on Thursday.
Three other Bulgarian cities - Pleven, Bourgas and Plovdiv - occupy the next places in the ranking, the World Bank said in its Doing Business in the European Union 2017: Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania report.
Romania's Bucharest, Oradea, Ploiesti and Timisoara share the fifth place.
The ranking is based on questionnaires administered to local experts, including lawyers, business consultants, architects, engineers.
"Each country has cities that outperform the European Union average in at least one area: Varna and Pleven in Bulgaria in starting a business, Pecs and Szeged in Hungary in dealing with construction permits, all Hungarian cities and Oradea in Romania in registering property, and most cities in enforcing contracts," the World Bank added
According to the report, country capitals such as Budapest and Sofia lag behind most of the smaller cities in those countries. However, Bucharest ranks in the top half among Romanian cities in most areas measured, demonstrating the potential for dealing efficiently with high demand for business services.
"Reform-minded officials can make tangible improvements by replicating good practices in other cities in their country. Bulgarian cities could make starting a business easier by adopting the good practices in Varna. [...] Romanian cities could look to Timisoara's example to improve contract enforcement," the bank noted.
The report also suggests that Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania could improve its policy framework by relieving some of the procedures for starting a new business.