New Zealand ranked easiest place in the world to do business again

New Zealand has again been ranked by as the easiest place in the world to do business.

Kiwis have held the top spot in the World Bank's annual rankings since 2015, holding Singapore to second-place for the fourth year running.

The World Bank looks at five main aspects of running a business to determine its rankings - opening a business, getting a location, accessing finances, dealing with day-to-day operations and operating in a secure business environment.

New Zealand tied with Georgia for having the lowest number of procedures required in order to start a business - just one - and was the clear leader in terms of how long that takes - half a day. 

Top 10 countries for ease of doing business, according to the World Bank.
Top 10 countries for ease of doing business in 2019, according to the World Bank. Photo credit: World Bank.

New Zealand also ties for first place in the World Bank's strength of legal rights index, with Montenegro Brunei.

"It's great to see New Zealand as the best economy in the world to do business," said Finance Minsiter Grant Robertson. "This is another indication that the economy is in good shape."

"Governments can foster market-oriented development and broad-based growth by creating rules that help businesses launch, hire, and expand," said World Bank group president David Malpass.

"Removing barriers facing entrepreneurs generates better jobs, more tax revenues, and higher incomes, all of which are necessary to reduce poverty and raise living standards."

The other eight countries in the top 10 are Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, United States, Georgia, United Kingdom, Norway, and Sweden. The scores were determined on the business environment in the 12 months to April 30, so might not reflect the current realities in places like Hong Kong - which has had weeks of disruptive and violent protests - and the UK, which is on the edge of losing unfettered access to the European Union market.

New Zealand was edged in a few areas, such as how long it takes to do taxes (Singapore ranked first at just 49 hours per year) and how long it takes - and what it costs - to get goods across the border. 

Somalia was ranked the hardest place in the world to do business, behind Eritrea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and South Sudan. Australia was ranked 14th. 

The top 10 biggest improvers were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria.