World Bank: Still easy to do business in Latvia

Latvia has slipped three spots in the latest World Bank ranking of the ease of doing business, but still is in the top 30 of the 181 economies included in the survey.

The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2009” report, released Sept. 10, ranks Latvia 29th, down from 26th last year.

Still, Latvia was among countries singled out in the World Bank’s report, which noted the nation last year was among those making it easier to register property and to close a business.

Latvia also served as a model for officials in Azerbaijan, who visited the country to learn about regulatory reform. Azerbaijan was credited as the top reformer in the world last year and soared in the rankings to 33rd, up from 97th last year.

The World Bank noted that regulatory reforms are gaining momentum around the world, but especially in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The annual report ranks economies on 10 indicators of business regulation “that record the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business,” a World Bank spokesperson said in a press release.

The top three economies for ease of doing business remained Singapore, New Zealand and the United States. Russia ranked 120th, down from 112th last year. At the bottom of the list, ranked 181st, is the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Estonia also slipped, down to 22nd from 18th, while Lithuania remained unchanged at 28th.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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