Kosovo, the best place for starting a business in 2019

Macedonia is the top performer from Southeast Europe (SEE) in the latest Doing Business in 2019 report of the World Bank Group, released on Wednesday.

Macedonia ranked 10th, and Albania is the only SEE countries which improved their rankings compared with 2018, according to data from the Doing Business 2019: A Year of Record Reforms, Rising Influence report World Bank’s report. “FYR Macedonia made the construction permitting process less costly by reducing the land development fees,” has been noted in the report.

The second best destination for doing business in SEE is Slovenia, which ranks 40th, three spots down from last year, followed by Kosovo at the 44th place, Moldova, 47th, and Serbia, 48th. From South-East Europe, Kosovo ranks as the best place for starting a business in 2019, ranking 13th place, followed by Moldova, 14th, Slovenia, 38th, and Serbia, 40th, according to the report. To read more check out the official website.

“This year’s results clearly demonstrate government commitment in many economies, large and small, to nurture entrepreneurship and private enterprise,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.

“In addition, there is a wide range of countries reforming this year – it’s more universal. No one questions that these things are important anymore, such as the need for a simple process to start a business.”

In the last two or three years, “all the large emerging markets – such as China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia – have taken on this agenda,” said Sylvia Solf, head of the World Bank Group’s Reform Advisory Unit, which advises governments on ways to improve the business environment.  “The fact that they are doing this is groundbreaking.”


Making it easier to do business

By putting the perspective of a small, domestic company at the center of its analysis, Doing Business was revolutionary, said Solf. The index measures reforms in 11 areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

The most popular reform is making it easier to start a business. More than a quarter of economies did just that in 2017/18. It now takes an average of 20 days and costs 23% of income per capita to start a business, compared to 47 days and 76% of income per capita in 2006. Thirteen of the top 20 economies have at least one procedure that can be completed online in half a day.

Doing Business 2019 is the 16th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.