Romania advanced 22 positions in a global ranking on ease of doing business

Romania advanced from the 71st position to 49th on ease of starting or doing business, the report “Doing Business 2007 – How to Reform” shows, launched on Wednesday, September 6 by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). According to the report, Romania was the first in the region and second most active reformer in the world, because it simplified procedures for obtaining building permits and set up a single office for processing applications. This fact reduced the time for obtaining construction licenses by 49 days. Also, reforms to labor laws allowed term contracts to extend to six years, encouraging businesses to hire first-time workers. New customs procedures cut the time to satisfy regulatory requirements for trading in half, to 14 days. Romania also broadened the scope of information available for potential borrowers and sped bankruptcy proceedings. Romania has undertaken a series of measures aimed at reducing the level of corruption in the area of taxes regime. The main method in this case is reducing the figure of taxes and eliminating exceptions. Romania mentioned that it adopted such measures in 2004. Doing Business 2007 also ranks 175 economies on the ease of doing business — covering 20 more economies than last year’s report. The top-ranked countries in Eastern Europe are Lithuania (16), Estonia (17), and Latvia (24), followed by Slovakia (36) and Romania (47). However Romania must work on improving judicial procedures, which continue to be hard and require time. For the third year in a row, Eastern European economies reformed faster than any others. Every country except Slovenia made at least one reform. Reforms were spurred by regulatory competition in the enlarged European Union. But despite the improvements, on average Eastern European countries still impose more regulatory obstacles on business than OECD and East Asian countries.

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