Azerbaijan and Albania lead the world in pro-business reforms, while Singapore remains the best place to start a business, according to the World Bank.
In an annual global report, Central Asia and Eastern Europe ranked highest in terms of business-friendly regulatory reforms. Last year, a total of 113 countries implemented 239 pro-business reforms, the most recorded in a single year since the report was launched in 2004. Two-thirds of East Asia's economies instituted reforms, up from less than 50 percent last year.
Azerbaijan began a one-stop shop for startups early this year, increasing business registrations by 40 percent between January and June, the report found. The government also made employment regulation more flexible, eased restrictions on working hours and sped up property transfers. Azerbaijan's credit registry also eliminated its old loan cutoff rate, doubling the number of borrowers, researchers said.
Facilitating the process and reducing the costs of starting a business continued to be the most commonly implemented reform, followed by simplified tax codes and administration.