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New Zealand has overtaken Singapore as the best country in the world to do business, according to the World Bank.
Singapore slipped to second in the bank’s 2017 “Doing Business” report after topping the ranking for a decade.
Finland dropped out of the top 10, falling to 13th. Macedonia, which placed 92nd a decade ago, improved two spots from a year earlier to No. 10.
The report ranks countries based on 11 sets of indicators such as the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, accessing electricity and obtaining credit. For the first time, the Washington-based development lender took gender factors into consideration in assessing how easy it is to start a business, register property and enforce contracts.
New Zealand, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, leads the rankings with the fewest number of procedures to start a business and the shortest time to fulfill them, along with strong legal rights, the bank said.
Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Belarus and Indonesia made the biggest strides in business-friendly reforms.
The US dropped to the eighth spot from seventh, while Japan retained its 34th place and China rose to 78th from 84th.
India’s ranking was unchanged at 130th.
War-torn Somalia, a new addition to the rankings this year, was the worst-performer, behind Eritrea, Libya, Venezuela and South Sudan. (Bloomberg)