Lithuania is the 14th most business-friendly country in the world, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report.
The Washington-based institution's flagship publication ranks 190 economies based on how easy it is to start a business, taking into account trading regulations, property rights, contract enforcement, investment laws, the availability of credit and a number of other factors. The first report was published in 2003.
Lithuania, a country with less than three million people, leads the CEE region, as all other countries, except Latvia, have fallen in the ranking. In this year's edition, Lithuania is among the top 10 countries when it comes to Registering Property, Enforcing Contracts and Dealing with Construction Permits.
Other highlights from the report include:
Two countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asia made the top 10: Macedonia in 10th and Georgia, edging up two spots to 6th.
The 10 top economies in the ease of doing business ranking share common features of regulatory efficiency and quality, including mandatory inspections during construction, automated tools used by distribution utilities to restore service during power outages, strong safeguards available to creditors in insolvency proceedings and automated specialized commercial courts.
The economies with the most notable improvement are: Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda.
One-third of all business regulatory reforms were in the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa. With a total of 107 reforms, Sub-Saharan Africa once again has a record number this year.
The BRIC economies—Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China—introduced a total of 21 reforms, with getting electricity and trading across borders the most common areas of improvement. Brazil recorded the largest score improvement in Latin America and the Caribbean, reforming in four areas. China, one of this year’s top 10 improvers, advanced more than 30 spots to 46th place in the global rankings. India became South Asia’s top-ranked economy, advancing 23 spots to 77th place in the global ranking.
United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 in 11th place.
Training opportunities for service providers and users are positively associated with the ease of doing business score. Similarly, increased public-private communication on legislative changes and processes affecting SMEs are associated with more reforms and better performance on the Doing Business indicators.
“The diversity among the top improvers shows that economies of all sizes and income levels, and even those in conflict can advance the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises. 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.
In the Doing Business 2018 report, published on 31 October 2017 Lithuania ranked 16th while in the Doing Business 2017 ranked 21st.
Lithuania, strategically situated at the crossroads of Europe and Eurasia, joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, the European Union in 2004 and the euro area in 2015.