Doing Business 2018: Kosovo Among Top Ten Reformers in the World

The FINANCIAL — Kosovo is among the top 10 economies worldwide with the most notable improvement in doing business reforms, says the Doing Business 2018 report, released on October 31 by the World Bank Group.

This year, Kosovo ranks 40th out of 190 countries in ease of doing business, compared to 60th place last year, noting that the two rankings are not fully comparable because of methodology refinement in one of the ten indicators measured by the report.

Kosovo ranks 10th on Starting a Business, 12th on Getting Credit, 48th on Trading across Borders, 122nd on Dealing with Construction Permits, 89th on Protecting Minority Investors, 106th on Getting Electricity, 49th on Enforcing Contracts, 45th on Paying Taxes, 34th on Registering Property, and 49th on Resolving Insolvency.

“Kosovo has been continuously improving its business regulations, as captured by the Doing Business indicators, and is narrowing the gap with the best global performers,” says Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “This is welcome news for Kosovo’s economy. However, if these reforms are not properly and consistently implemented in practice, it will be difficult for Kosovo to achieve the desired impact on productivity gains for firms and attract more investments.”

Every year, the Doing Business report measures, in 190 economies, aspects of business regulation that matter for entrepreneurship, focusing on ten areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

However, it does not include all the issues that are relevant for businesses’ decisions. Doing Business does not measure the full range of factors, policies and institutions that affect the quality of an economy’s business environment or its national competitiveness. It does not, for example, capture aspects of macroeconomic stability, development of the financial system, market size, the incidence of bribery and corruption, or the quality of the labor force.

Kosovo’s improved performance this year was supported by the implementation of three business regulatory reforms in the areas of: Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Resolving Insolvency. More specifically, Doing Business finds that over the 12-month period up to June 2017, Kosovo implemented several improvements: starting a business was made easier by simplifying the process of registering employees; access to credit was strengthened by adopting a new law that establishes clear priority rules inside bankruptcy for secured creditors and clear grounds for relief from a stay for secured creditors in reorganization procedures; resolving insolvency was made easier by introducing a legal framework for corporate insolvency, making liquidation and reorganization procedures available to debtors and creditors.

The report notes that the reform in Kosovo that enables parties to make use of reorganization procedures for the purpose of saving viable businesses, when there is a prospect of financial recovery, is particularly noteworthy. A comprehensive insolvency law, which was adopted in July 2016, introduced a number of modern features that are aligned with international good practices.

The World Bank Group contributed to notable improvements in the business enabling environment in Kosovo over the last few years, and it remains committed to supporting private sector development through its engagements in the energy sector, agriculture, competitiveness, and the investment climate. Private sector-led growth is one of the three key pillars of the World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Kosovo for 2017-2021.

“IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will continue supporting the reduction of administrative burden for businesses, tax transparency, improved corporate governance and financial reporting, and simplification of trade logistics as well as, overall, the investment policy reforms to attract private investments and higher quality FDI to the country”, says Visar Perani, Kosovo Country Officer for the International Financial Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group.

The other nine economies that showed the most notable improvement in Doing Business 2018 are Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Malawi, India, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Nigeria, Djibouti and El Salvador. The regions with the highest share of reforming economies in Doing Business 2018 are Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.