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Policy: Economy

U.S. ranks behind Rwanda, Belarus, Azerbaijan in ease of creating new business, World Bank says

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Business,Sean Higgins,Economy,Azerbaijan,World Bank,Belarus,Rwanda

A new study by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. found that the U.S. ranks well behind countries like Rwanda, Belarus and Azerbaijan in terms of how easy it is for an entrepreneur to start a new business. The U.S. did narrowly beat Uzbekistan, though.

The rankings were included in the organizations' joint study "Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses." The annual report, released in October, ranks the relative ease of creating a new business in 189 countries, looking at such measures as the number of procedures required, the time spent complying with them and the cost of doing so, among other factors.

The report found that New Zealand is the easiest place in the world to create a new business. Starting one there requires "one procedure, half a day, (and) less than 1 percent of income per capita and no paid-in minimum capital," the study noted. New Zealand was followed by Canada, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong in the top five.

By contrast, the U.S. requires, on average, six procedures, takes five days and requires 1.5 percent of the company's income per capita.

In addition to being beaten out by Rwanda (9), Azerbaijan (10), and Belarus (15), the U.S. lost out to Malaysia (16); Taiwan (17); Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory (18); and Mauritius (19).

The rankings matter and say a lot about a country's economy, the study notes: "[T]here is a positive relationship between entrepreneurship, growth and job creation. In 2007 young start-ups accounted for nearly 8 million of the 12 million new jobs created in the U.S. economy."

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