WASHINGTON, 1st November, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE has implemented the highest number of reforms in the region in the past 15 years, with 33 reforms, followed by Saudi Arabia, with 30, making it the top-ranked economy in the GCC, revealed the World Bank Group’s latest 'Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs' report.
In the global ranking stakes for the ease of doing business, the UAE, in 21st place, is the top-ranked economy in the GCC.
''Reforms in the UAE included strengthening construction quality control, thus earning the country the highest possible score on the building quality control index. The UAE also improved access to credit information by starting to provide consumer credit scores to banks and financial institutions,'' the report said.
In the Getting Electricity category, the UAE achieved global leader status. It takes approximately 10 days to obtain an electricity connection in the UAE, compared to the global average of 92 days and the OECD 'high-income' average of 78 days. Recent reforms to streamline the connection process and eliminating interactions between the customer and the utility for external works have allowed the UAE to attain top ranking in this area. Registering a company in the UAE today takes on average 8.5 days, and costs 13.4 percent of income per capita, compared to 19.5 days and 18.8 percent 15 years ago.
GCC countries carried out 15 reforms during the past year to improve their business climate and competitiveness, the report found. Marking its 15th anniversary, the Doing Business report notes that the GCC states have implemented 103 reforms in the past 15 years, accounting for more than a third of all reforms implemented in the Middle East and North Africa region.
"With their commitment to developing the private sector, the GCC states have done much to improve the business climate for private enterprises. We look forward to a continuation of efforts to embrace the fair, transparent and efficient regulatory practices that the Doing Business report champions," said Nadir Mohammed, the Regional Director for GCC Countries.
The report ranks Saudi Arabia among the top 20 reformers in the world and the 2nd best reformer among high income and G20 countries.
Overall, the GCC performs well in the area of Paying Taxes. It takes 49 hours to pay taxes on average in the region, compared with an average of 160 hours in the OECD high-income economies and 240 hours globally. In fact, the world’s fastest economies in terms of paying taxes are all GCC states, which include the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.