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Sweden rises in business friendliness ranking

Vivian Tse · 5 Nov 2010, 11:37

Published: 05 Nov 2010 11:37 GMT+01:00

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Sweden fell behind Denmark (sixth), Norway (eighth) and Finland (13th), but nudged ahead of Iceland (15th) in the eighth annual "Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs" rankings compiled by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.

For the fifth year running, Singapore topped the rankings of the report, which ranks 183 economies on key aspects of business regulation for domestic firms. Hong Kong was second, followed by New Zealand, the UK and the US.

"Governments worldwide have been consistently taking steps to empower local entrepreneurs," Neil Gregory, acting director of global indicators and analysis at the World Bank, said in a statement.

"The economies most affected by the financial crisis — especially in Eastern Europe — have been targeting regulatory reforms over the past year to make it easier for small and medium-size enterprises to recover and to create jobs," he added.

Sweden performed best in trade across borders, coming in seventh, registering property (15th), closing a business (18th) and dealing with construction permits (20th). However, it lagged behind in access to credit, coming in 72nd place.

Other criteria for the survey included starting a business, investor protection, paying taxes and enforcing contracts.

Over the past five years, 85 percent of the countries have improved conditions for operating a business. China and India are among the countries that have recorded the greatest improvements.

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"New technology underpins regulatory best practice around the world. Technology makes compliance easier, less costly, and more transparent," said Janamitra Devan, vice president for financial and private sector development for the World Bank.

Chad came in last, followed by the Central African Republic and Burundi. Nine of the last 10 countries on the list are in Africa, lagging behind Timor-Leste.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 November 5, 2010 by krattan
Nice to see a perhaps more balanced report on how great Sweden is versus the rest of the world.
15:38 November 5, 2010 by Nemesis
I agree with this.

Dealing with a bank manager in Sweden is a lot easier than dealing with some idiot speaking from a check sheet in the UK or having to know the right person in Ireland.

If you present a business plan to a Swedish bank manager and there is a flaw, they point it out and try to help you fix it. Compare that with the numpties you meet in banks in the UK or Ireland.

I am with Nordea and have found it to be a very easy bank to deal with, although consider Swedbank to be on a par with third world banking.
15:12 November 7, 2010 by Beavis
I think youve just been lucky Nem. Ive found Nordea staff just as moronic, if not more moronic than the ones in Ireland (I didnt think that was humanly possibe!) Every month for example on pay day for the past 2 years their online system has crashed (when everyone needs to use it) Ive asked them why am I paying an online maintenance fee and the response was "these things happen, you can go to the bank instead" Plus a long list of idiotic things Ive been told their as regards ID. Banks are no better here than anywhere else, except when it comes to loaning out huge sums of money to stupid developers.. they say no, so Ill give them there dues for that
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