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The UAE climbed 10 spots to 11th place in the World Bank's annual ease of doing business ranking, following a package of reforms in the past year that boosted the country's economic competitiveness. Delhi and Mumbai are the only cities covered in India by the report. "Fair, efficient, and transparent rules, which Doing Business promotes, are the bedrock of a vibrant economy and entrepreneurship environment".

The report highlighted that the "government's reform effort focused on improving the electronic processing of documents and providing more information on specific regulations" as state institutions - including municipalities, Justice Ministry and courts - began publishing information relevant to opening a business. India is now recognised as among top ten improvers for the 2nd consecutive year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India can get into top 50 if it improves on time taken for registering real estate, starting business, insolvency and taxation and enforcement of contracts.

The latest results are predicated on the country's pursuit of reforms, although these predate the arrival of the Pakatan Harapan government; according to the report, its data was current up to May 1 whereas the new administration was voted in over a week later.

Marking areas where the country still needs to improve, Mr Jaitley mentioned starting of business, in which the country ranked 137, paying taxes and enforcing of contracts, which he said "remains poor".

The reforms are a significant acceleration of the country's efforts to improve the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises, according to the report.

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The instant licence and e-merchant, for example, are some of the most prominent initiatives the DED launched to ease as well as accelerate the procedures to start a business in the emirate of Dubai, Al Qamzi said.

"Six reforms in Malaysia were measured by Doing Business, resulting in the second highest regional improvement in the ease of doing business score", the World Bank said in the report. India is the only South Asian country to achieve this distinction two years in a row, and only nine other countries have accomplished this since 2011.

Last year, India had broken into the top 100. "Doing Business provides a road map that different governments can use to increase business confidence, innovation, and growth and reduce corruption", said Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank's Senior Director for Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist. "The Doing Business reports' de jure indicators offer a snapshot of a country's regulatory cholesterol, but likewise should not be viewed in isolation", policy researchers Matthew Lillehaugen and Milan Vaishnavi wrote in 2017 on the rankings.

Mauritius joins the group of top 20 economies this year. New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark were on top of the list.

- Afghanistan, with 5 reforms, moved up 16 spots to 167th place in the global rankings. The lowest ranked economies are Somalia (190), Eritrea (189) and Venezuela (188).


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