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29 October, 2015 08:49 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka has reaped mixed results in the latest World Bank ‘Doing Business 2016’ index, despite dropping eight places has managed to show an improvement in the overall business environment, the report showed yesterday.
The index measures the ease of doing business in 189 different countries. Sri Lanka ranked 107th out of 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business for 2016. It was in the 99th place in 2015.
However, Sri Lanka’s distance to frontier (DTF) score, which indicates how far each economy is from the best performance achieved by any economy on the resolving insolvency indicators, improved to 58.96 next year from 57.5 in 2015. A score of 100 represents the frontier.
The 10 topics included in the ranking in Doing Business 2016: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1-189. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
Sri Lanka streamlined the internal review process for building permit applications and reduced time for processing making it easier to deal with construction permits and less time-consuming, the report said. The country has made it easier to deal with construction permits by creating a working group of different agencies involved in issuing building permits so that applicants no longer need to obtain approvals from them separately.
The country made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement to notify the Registrar of Companies of the payment of stamp duty for the initial issuance of shares, it added.
Sri Lanka has also simplified post registration procedures such as tax registration, social security registration and licensing, the report said. The report covered only Colombo as a city of Sri Lanka and the data in Doing Business 2016 are current as of 1 June 2015.
Singapore ranked the easiest to do business in 2015 while New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong, rounded up the top five in that order. The United States ranked 7th.
In the South Asian region Bhutan ranked 71, Nepal 99, Maldives 128, India 130, Pakistan 138, and Bangladesh 174. South Asia on average ranked 128.

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