Issue 5, 2013. October-November

   

GEORGIA NAMED ONE OF TOP TEN COUNTRIES FOR DOING BUSINESS

The annual Doing Business report, published by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, ranked Georgia ninth in the world for the ease of doing business, putting it ahead developed of economies like Germany and Australia.

The Sarphi Customs Terminal

The numbers are out and Georgia is number nine - three ranks higher than last year - in the annual Ease of Doing Business report. From Singapore to the Central African Republic, 185 countries were ranked according to their laws and regulations on everything from starting a business to enforcing contracts.

The survey, which focuses on eleven regulatory areas that affect business, measures how reforms implemented by governments have helped - or hurt - efforts to streamline bureaucratic obstacles for investors. The report's authors spoke to over a dozen officials, lawyers, consultants, economists, and policymakers to collect the data necessary to rank Georgia on Starting a Business; Dealing with Construction Permits; Getting Electricity; Registering Property; Getting Credit; Protecting Investors; Paying Taxes; Trading Across Borders; Enforcing Contracts; Resolving Insolvency.

The survey is not, however, a cheat sheet to every issue that concerns investors. For instance, the survey does not look at security, corruption, labor skills, or the strength of the financial system.

For Georgia, the Doing Business report has served as a benchmarking tool to measure efforts to create an attractive environment for investors.

Over the past nine years, Georgia's ranking has steadily rose, from one of the poorest countries for investors to one of the best. Here is a quick overview of where Georgia has improved over the past year.


Starting a Business - 7th out of 185

One of Georgia's strongest areas, the government continues to tweak the processes and procedures necessary for starting a business. With just two days needed to start a business - less than the regional average and the average for developed European economies - Georgia remains one of the easiest places to open a business. There was no change in Georgia's ranking from 2012.

Dealing with Construction Permits - 3th out of 185

Receiving permission for construction in Georgia takes just 74 days and nine procedures, a fraction of the time necessary in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (19 days and 226 procedures). There was no change in Georgia's ranking from 2012.

Getting Electricity - 50th out of 185

Georgia jumped from number 88 to number 50 on its ability to bring electricity to projects faster and more cheaply than the regional average. For investors in Georgia, it takes just four procedures and 71 days to secure electricity, compared with seven procedures and 153 days in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, on average. Costs, however, are still much higher than the average in developed economies.

Registering Property - 1st out of 185

Georgia is the world's star for the ease of registering property: it is faster, easier, and cheaper to register property in Georgia than the average in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, or developed economies.
Due to reforms, it takes just one procedure, two days and 0.1 percent of the cost of property for registry.

Getting Credit - 4th out of 185

Georgia jumped five places due to efforts to improve the scope, access, and quality of credit information, moving up from number 9 last year to number 4 in 2013. More detailed information on how the category is measured can be found at the doingbusiness.org.

Protecting Investors - 19th out of 185

Georgia slipped two slots in protecting investors, one of only two categories where the country is backsliding, sliding from 17 in the ranks to 19 in 2013. The category measures several specific areas: transparency of transactions, liability for self-dealing, shareholders' ability to sue officers and directors for misconduct and Strength of Investor Protection Index.

Paying Taxes - 33rd out of 185

Georgia jumped up 12 places in the survey in 2013, thanks to the limited number of payments on an annual basis and the overall low total tax rate. It still requires more hours to pay taxes in Georgia than the regional average.

Trading Across Borders - 38th out of 185

Georgia's continued efforts to turn the country into a transit hub are bearing fruit, according to the survey. The limited number of documents needed, and time required, to export helped lift Georgia from number 47 in the world to number 38.

Enforcing Contracts - 30th out of 185

It is becoming easier to enforce contracts in Georgia, based on the number of days, cost and procedures to enforce communal contracts, pushing the country up nine slots in the ranks, from number 39 to number 30.

Resolving Insolvency - 81th out of 185
Georgia's biggest slip, however, was in resolving insolvency - or how the law's deal with bankruptcy. The country fell six places in the ranks, sliding from 75 to 81.