Economies continued to implement reforms that enhance local firms' ability to do business, with transparency and access to information playing a key role in the process, said the World Bank in a report released on Wednesday.
According to the annual report -- Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World, the World Bank assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders.
This year's report shows that governments in 125 economies out of 183 measured implemented a total of 245 business regulatory reforms -- 13 percent more reforms than in the previous year.
The report finds that over the past six years, 163 economies have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly. China, India and Russia are among the 30 economies that improved the most over time.
This year, Singapore led on the overall ease of doing business, followed by the Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States and Denmark. South Korea was a new entrant to the top 10.
"At a time when persistent unemployment and the need for job creation are in the headlines, governments around the world continue to seek ways to improve the regulatory climate for domestic business. Small and medium-sized businesses that benefit most from these improvements are the key engines for job creation in many parts of the world," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of Global Indicators and Analysis of the World Bank.
The World Bank noted that against the backdrop of the global financial and economic crisis, more economies strengthened their insolvency regimes in 2010-11 than in any previous years. Twenty-nine economies implemented insolvency reforms, up from 16 the previous year and 18 the year before.