Governments around the world significantly stepped up their pace of improving business regulations last year, laying the groundwork for local entrepreneurs to expand their work, the Washington-based World Bank said Monday.
In the past year, 114 economies implemented 238 regulatory reforms that made it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business, about 18 percent more reforms than in the previous year, the bank said in its report entitled "Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises."
Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the eighth consecutive year, said the report, which compared business regulations for domestic firms in 189 economies.
Joining Singapore on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation were China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Malaysia, South Korea, Georgia, Norway and Britain.
Meanwhile, the economies that registered the biggest improvements in the ease of doing business last year were Ukraine, Rwanda, Russia, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi, FYR Macedonia and Guatemala, the report said.
China is among the top 50 countries which have most improved business regulations since 2005.
"A better business climate that enables entrepreneurs to build their businesses and reinvest in their communities is key to local and global economic growth," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.