DOING BUSINESS 2009
STAR TING A BUSINESS
For the fifth year in a row Eastern Europe
and Central Asia led the world in Doing
Business reforms. Twenty-six of the re-
gion’s 28 economies implemented a total
of 69 reforms. Since 2004 Doing Business
has been tracking reforms aimed at sim-
plifying business regulations, strength-
ening property rights, opening up access
to credit and enforcing contracts by mea-
suring their impact on 10 indicator sets.1
Nearly 1,000 reforms with an impact
on these indicators have been captured.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia has ac-
counted for a third of them.
The region surpassed East Asia
and Pacific in the average ease of doing
business in 2007—and maintained its
place this year (figure 1.1). Four of its
economies—Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania
and Latvia—are among the top 30 in the
overall Doing Business ranking.
Rankings on the ease of doing busi-
ness do not tell the whole story about an
economy’s business environment. The
indicator does not account for all fac-
tors important for doing business—for
example, macroeconomic conditions, in-
frastructure, workforce skills or security.
But improvement in an economy’s rank-
ing does indicate that its government is
creating a regulatory environment more
conducive to operating a business. In
Eastern Europe and Central Asia many
economies continue to do so—and econ-
omies in the region once again dominate
the list of top Doing Business reformers
in 2007/08. New this year: reforms in the
region are moving eastward as 4 new-
comers join the top 10 list of reformers:
Azerbaijan, Albania, the Kyrgyz Republic
and Belarus (table 1.1).
Many others reformed as well.
Worldwide, 113 economies implemented
239 reforms making it easier to do busi-
ness between June 2007 and June 2008.
That is the most reforms recorded in
a single year since the Doing Business
project started. In the past year reform-
ers focused on easing business start-up,
lightening the tax burden, simplifying
import and export regulation and