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East Africa could match Japan in ease of doing business: World Bank

(Xinhua)

09:53, August 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) said Wednesday that if the best of East African regulations and procedures were implemented across the board, the business regulatory environment in this area could be comparable to that in Japan.

The report entitled Doing Business in the East African Community 2011 takes a detailed look at business regulations in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, stating that East Africa could benefit from sharing sound practices in business regulation.

In the past five years, all East African Community economies made it easier to do business. The average ranking for those countries is 117 out of 183 economies overall in Doing Business 2011. Kenya has some of the most business-friendly regulations for dealing with construction permits, and Rwanda is among the fastest places to start a business, noted the report.

The East African Community is the regional inter-governmental organization of the economies studied in this report.

"If each East African country was to adopt the region's best practice for each Doing Business indicator, East Africa would rank 18, bringing the community closer to the global top performers," said Sabine Hertveldt, a World Bank senior private sector development specialist and co-author of the report.

Between June 2009 and May 2010, as recorded by Doing Business 2011, East African countries implemented eight reforms making it easier to do business.

Launched in 2002, World Bank's Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 183 economies and selected cities at the sub-national and regional level. It serves as a barometer of the regulatory environment for doing business in different economies.

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