Uzbekistan has entered the top 10 reforming countries to create the most favourable conditions for doing business according to a World Bank report. The Central Asian nation undertook five business reforms in the past year, earning a spot in the top 10 global improvers for a third time. The country was named a top improver previously in 2015 and 2012.
With its five business reforms, Uzbekistan carried out the most reforms in the Europe and Central Asia region. As a result, it ranked on 74th place among world's 190 countries in this year’s ease of doing business global rankings.The improvements of the past year were adopted in the following five areas: Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Protecting Minority Investors, Paying Taxes and Getting Electricity
Uzbekistan took the 11th place on starting business ahead of such countries as the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy and others. Starting a business was made easier by rolling out a new platform on 1 April 2017, where businesses in Uzbekistan can register online within 30 minutes.
The country made dealing with construction permits easier, moving by 12 places up to 135th place, by streamlining the process of obtaining approvals of land plot allocations from various agencies. Uzbekistan now holds 62nd place in protecting minority investors by increasing corporate transparency requirements.
Paying Taxes was also made easier and less costly by introducing an electronic system. As a result, Uzbekistan moved from 138th place to 78th place in paying taxes indicator. The number of payments have been reduced from 58 to 10 and the time taken to prepare, file and pay the taxes from 202 to 181 hours.
On the Getting Electricity indicator, Uzbekistan moved up 59 places to a global ranking of 27, by reducing the cost for an entrepreneur to connect to the electricity grid from 1232 percent of the income per capita to 883 percent.
The report also notes that Uzbekistan has implemented 32 business reforms over the past 15 years. More than two-thirds of these reforms have been implemented in the last six years.
However, Uzbekistan underperforms in the area of Trading Across Borders. The cost of $292 for complying with the documentary requirements when exporting and importing is significantly higher than the average across OECD high-income economies, where it costs $35 to comply with export documentary requirements and $25 for imports finds the report.