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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 21.07.2024, 09:56

Lithuania among 17 world's most business-friendly countries, ahead of neighbors

BC, Vilnius, 29.10.2013.Print version
According to the World Bank's ranking Doing Business which ranks 183 countries on the basis of how easy it is to conduct business, Lithuanian improved more than half indicators and climbed from 27th to 17th position. Among the EU countries Lithuania is ranked 6th, leaving behind Estonia (22nd) and Latvia (24th), informs LETA/ELTA.

"Any positive evaluation of Lithuania is a signal for investors that this country is reliable and safe for establishing business. It is also pleasant to be leading in the Baltic region," said Lithuania's Minister of Finance Rimantas Sadzius.


World Bank study Doing Business 2014 places Estonia on the 22nd position in the world regarding the simplicity of doing business, which is by one position lower than last year.


The top positions in the list went to Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA and Denmark.


Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 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 data cover regulations measured from June 2012 through May 2013.


Estonia's general position was 22; regarding to starting business the position was 61, construction permits 38; access to electricity 56; registration of property 15; access to loan money 42; investor protection 68; simplicity of payment of taxes 32; cross border trading 7; enforcing contracts 26 and bankruptcy proceedings 66.

Although Latvia is comparatively high in the ranking, it is still behind the other two Baltic countries in terms of business environment, Swedbank economist Kristilla Skruzkalne told LETA.

Latvia has improved its position significantly in terms of "Dealing with Construction Permits" section of the report, jumping from 118th place last year to 79th place this year. Latvia has also improved its positions in the other sectors, for instance, it now takes less time in Latvia to start a business, and the overall tax burden has decreased slightly.

According to Skruzkalne, Latvia still has plenty of room for development to become more attractive for businessmen. In the "Doing Business" report, Latvia is still ranked the lowest in terms of construction permits - applying for and receiving one still takes a long time and is a costly process involving multiple procedures.

Also, getting electricity in Latvia is significantly more expensive than in Estonia and Lithuania. Likewise, registering property is more time consuming than in the other two Baltic countries, and the procedure is more expensive than in Estonia, Lithuania and even Russia.

The main principles of Latvia's National Industrial Policy lay emphasis on the development of industrial zones, which may ease access to electricity in terms of both time and cost. Latvia's new Construction Law, due to come into force on February 1 next year, is also hoped to improve Latvia's positions in terms of construction permits.


According to rating Doing Business, economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 – 189. A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

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