Sri Lanka becomes top South Asian reformer in 2008: IFC study

Sept 10, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has been rated the top South Asian reformer in an annual business regulation study by the World Bank group, with a new company law and credit information improvements boosting its scores. Singapore led the global rankings on the overall regulatory ease of doing business for a third consecutive year. New Zealand was runner-up, and the United States, third.

“Economies need rules that are efficient, easy to use, and accessible to all who use them,” says Michael Klein, World Bank and IFC’s vice president for financial and private sector development.

“Otherwise, businesses get trapped in the unregulated, informal economy where they have less access to finance and hire fewer workers, and where workers lack the protection of labor law.”

Among regions, Eastern Europe and Central Asia led in reforms of business regulation for a fifth consecutive year, with more than 90 percent of its countries making improvements, the IFC said.

East Asia and the Pacific was second, with China leading the way by making make it easier to access credit, pay taxes, and enforce contracts; the Middle East and North Africa tied at second.

Sri Lanka however scored badly in taxation, with a legiti