Sri Lanka slipped a notch again this year to rank 111th in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2018″ index, which measures the ease of doing business in 190 countries.
Despite a decline of a notch from last year the overall business environment improved in Sri Lanka with a slightly higher distance to frontier (DTF) score of 58.86 in terms of ease of doing business for 2018. A score of 100 represents the frontier.
The Doing Business Index measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation.
Sri Lanka’s overall rank has declined mainly due to the difficulties faced by the entrepreneurs in registering property – Procedures, time and cost to transfer a property and the quality of the land administration system. In Registering Property, Sri Lanka ranked at 157th among 190 countries. While it takes 51 days to register a property, getting a construction permit takes 115 days.
In Getting Credit Sri Lanka ranked at 122 – behind the South Asia regional average as well as India and Pakistan.
However, Sri Lanka has made it easier to trade across borders by introducing and improving electronic submission and processing of documents for exports and imports. Sri Lanka has made exporting and importing easier by developing a customs single window.
In the South Asia region India showed remarkable improvement in doing business jumping 30 notches this year to rank at 100th place mainly due to the reforms in eight out of 10 indicators to make it easier to do business resulting in higher DTF scores.
Elsewhere in the region, Bhutan ranked at 75, Nepal ranked at 105, Maldives 136, Pakistan 147, Bangladesh 177 and Afghanistan at 183.
New Zealand ranked the easiest to do business in 2015 while Singapore, Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong rounded up the top five in that order. The United States ranked 6th.