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World Bank publishes report on doing business in Southeast Europe

29. June 2011. | 21:01

Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug, MIA

The 2011 report showed that the region of South-East Europe continues to improve business regulations for entrepreneurs, and that all 19 cities measured for the second time show improvements in comparison with the first report that was published in 2008.

Of all the cities in the region, one can most efficiently settle a commercial dispute through the court in Zrenjanin (Serbia), start up a business in Skopje (Macedonia), obtain a building permit in Niksic (Montenegro), and transfer a property title in Balti and Chisinau (Moldova), showed the report entitled “Doing Business in Southeast Europe 2011”, which was compiled by the World Bank and International Financial Corporation (IFC) and released on Tuesday.

One would have most difficulty in getting a construction permit in Belgrade, starting a business in Pristina (Kosovo-Metohija), registering property in Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), and enforcing a contract in Prizren (Kosovo-Metohija).

The 2011 report showed that the region of South-East Europe continues to improve business regulations for entrepreneurs, and that all 19 cities measured for the second time show improvements in comparison with the first report that was published in 2008.

With the construction permit worth 20 times annual income per capita, the cities in Serbia are among the most expensive in the region when it comes to obtaining a building permit, the report noted.

Belgrade is marked on the region's map as the city in which dealing with construction permits is most burdensome, since the procedure lasts almost a year, which is five months more than it was the case in 2008, the IFC-World Bank report showed.

The greatest challenges to Serbia's new Law on Planning and Construction remain implementation of the regulations pertaining to strengthening of property titles.

One needs two or three months to register property in Serbia. However, the efforts are being made to speed up this process.

FYRMacedonia one of the best in SEE for business

Skopje, Bitola and Tetovo are ranked among the best business destinations out of 22 cities in seven SEE countries. These three Macedonian cities in the latest World Bank Doing Business report, which was presented on Tuesday, have taken up the first, third and fifth place.

"The Macedonian cities and Macedonia are ranked amongst the best in SEE, which is a proof that countries in the region have the best business climate, i.e. the best reforms for improving the business climate, stated Vice PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, who takes part at a conference, where the 2011 Doing Business report is being presented.

According to him, this is another confirmation of the actions taken to improve the business climate. Being ranked as the 4th top reformer in 2008 and as the third top reformed in the world suggests that Macedonia continuously implements good reforms in terms of the business climate.

"This is another report that together with those released in 2008 and 2010 confirms that Macedonia in continuity applies good reforms regarding the business climate. As a result of those reforms, Macedonia in 2007 and 2008 managed to achieve the best economic results with the highest level of investments of over 1.2 billion euros and an average economic growth of 5.5%. When the world was hit by the economic crisis in 2009 and 2010, these reforms had made Macedonia's economy to be more resistant to the crisis in order Macedonian companies to be able to survive the crisis. Now in 2011, when the crisis is over, we are able to realise an economic growth. This is being confirmed by results from the first quarter of 2011, in which Macedonia has the fifth best result in Europe with a GDP growth of over 5%," Stavreski noted.

The Doing Business report measures reforms in four areas. The first one is starting a business in which "Macedonia is absolutely the best in the region and takes the 5th place in the world."

"It takes only three days to start a company in Macedonia, while a firm can be registered in only four hours. It is the best result worldwide," Stavreski said.

According to the indicator for obtaining construction permits, Macedonia has also made headway, especially in reducing construction procedures.

"Under the latest changes, procedures for building a business facility are reduced from 21 to 4. Utility costs are reduced by 95%, which makes Macedonia even more competitive," the minister said.

He noted that there was an improvement in relation to registering property. The measures carried out in this area included shortening of mandatory deadlines, reduction of costs and number of procedures need to register property and ownership of land and real estate. Also significant reforms were made in the Agency for Real Estate Cadaster with the held of the World Bank.

According to the "enforcing contracts" indicator in the report, Macedonia has made an improvement i.e. the procedure for a small amount dispute has been shortened.

"The report verifies the favourable policies and reforms made at national and local level in reducing procedures, mitigating business conditions, lowering costs of the companies. It is expected these policies in the future, given the fact that we are the best in the region, to give more results in attracting investments, either domestic or foreign, launching an investment cycle and opening more jobs," FinMin Stavreski stated in Vienna.


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