United Arab Emirates ranks first for business in MENA region
Saudi Arabia came second, and Qatar came in third in the region’s rankings.
“While regional unrest continues to roil the Middle East and North Africa, several economies in the region have made notable efforts to improve their business environment,” Rita Ramalho, the World Bank’s lead author for the report, said. “In the past year, the United Arab Emirates improved its business environment the most in the region across multiple areas captured by the report, making it one of the 10 top global improvers.”
Ramalho said the UAE did that with enhanced the administrative efficiency of its land registry, improved access to credit information, and strengthened minority investor protections.
The World Bank said that the report found that 11 economies in the Middle East and North Africa reformed in at least one area tracked by the report in the last years. That number means 55 percent of the region’s economies reformed business regulations in the last two years.
Still, the report says the region’s economies have plenty of work to do. The reforms did little to address problems with enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. The UAE’s business environment was ranked 22nd globally, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar came in at numbers 49 and 50 respectively.
Globally, the report showed Singapore to be the best country in the world to do business. New Zealand came in second followed by Hong Kong, Denmark, Norway, the U.S., the U.K., Finland and Austria in the top-10 list.