Brexit fails to dent UK as a top place to do business 

Britain has maintained its place as one of the top 10 countries in the world for ease of doing business despite worries that political turmoil and the Brexit negotiations could dent the country’s appeal to companies.
The UK is the seventh best place to do business, according to the World Bank’s annual report on competitiveness.
This puts the UK newly ahead of Norway, which has dipped down the rankings this year, but behind the US which climbed up from eighth place to sixth.
The cost of setting up a business in the UK has declined and the World Bank singled out the UK’s decision to publish its entire business registry online, free of charge to users, as an example of forward-thinking, transparent activity.
It is also cheaper and easier to connect to the electricity grid, an important practical step in getting a business up and running.
Brexit fails to dent UK as a top place to do business 

New Zealand has topped the rankings for two years in a row

Hannah Peters/Getty 
However, the World Bank’s data also shows the UK has become worse in other aspects.
Protections for minority shareholders have deteriorated, for example, while post-filing trax processes are more difficult, the cost of enforcing contracts has risen and the recovery rate for insolvencies has fallen.
Those factors all underline the message that countries should not stand still just because they are performing well in the overall rankings.
Among rich countries only France and Italy implemented more than one positive reform in the past year.
France cut the cost of paying taxes and improved corporate transparency, while Italy temporarily exempted employers from social security contributions and made it easier to apply to join the electricity grid and have a meter added.
Brexit fails to dent UK as a top place to do business 

The French economy is reforming more than most in Europe, and President Emmanuel Macron wants to keep that going with his new labour market reforms

New Zealand topped the league for the second year in a row. It only takes half a day to establish a business in the country, while the credit system is the best in the world.
Even New Zealand can make improvements, however – it is 56th in the world for cross-border trade, for example, and 32nd for resolving insolvencies.
Singapore came in second place, followed by Denmark.
At the very bottom are Somalia, Eritrea and Venezuela.
Venezuela performs particularly poorly in terms of paying taxes – it takes 792 hours per year and 70 payments for companies to meet their tax requirements.
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