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New Zealand easiest for doing business in 2020, says World Bank

21 January 2020

New Zealand is the easiest country of 190 in which to do business, the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report says.

The report compares business regulation in 12 areas of business activity in 190 economies. The rankings are benchmarked to 1 May 2019.

It says the economies that score highest share several common features, including the widespread use of electronic systems.

"All of the 20 top-ranking economies have online business incorporation processes, have electronic tax filing platforms, and allow online procedures related to property transfers. Moreover, 11 economies have electronic procedures for construction permitting. In general, the 20 top performers have sound business regulation with a high degree of transparency."

The areas of business activity which the report measures are:

  • Starting a business;
  • Dealing with construction permits;
  • Getting electricity;
  • Registering property;
  • Getting credit;
  • Protecting minority investors;
  • Paying taxes;
  • Trading across borders;
  • Enforcing contracts;
  • Resolving insolvency;
  • Employing workers;
  • Contracting with the government.

The ease of doing business score measures an economy's performance with respect to a measure of regulatory best practice across the entire sample of 41 indicators for 10 Doing Business topics (the employing workers and contracting with the government indicators are excluded).

Ease of doing business ranking, top 20 economies
RankEconomyDB score
1New Zealand86.8
2Singapore86.2
3Hong Kong, SAR China85.3
4Denmark85.3
5South Korea84.0
6United States84.0
7Georgia83.7
8United Kingdom83.5
9Norway82.6
10Sweden82.0
11Lithuania81.6
12Malaysia81.5
13Mauritius81.5
14Australia81.2
15Taiwan, China80.9
16United Arab Emirates80.9
17North Macedonia80.7
18Estonia80.6
19Latvia80.3
20Finland80.2

Last updated on the 21st January 2020