This year, Serbia is 48th of the 190 countries ranked by the ease of doing business, compared to the 43rd spot from last year's reports, although its total number of points has increased, as per the World Bank's Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, published yesterday.
The main reason for this drop is that other countries have made bigger progress in regulating their business environment, the World Bank announced.
Of the former Yugoslav countries, Macedonia (10th place), and Slovenia (40) are ahead of Serbia, whereas Montenegro (50), Croatia (58) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (89) are behind.
– The reforms carried out by the government, in the partnership with business associations, benefit everybody – from enterprises, small and medium companies, to large domestic and foreign investors, enable the creation of new jobs and stimulate the further growth of the economy – says Stephen Ndegwa, World Bank Country Manager for Serbia.
As he adds, Serbia's ranking is not as strong this year, which can be explained by the quicker progress of other countries.
– Of course, while Serbia is making progress, other countries aren't waiting – he said.
Thomas Lubeck, Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe at the International Finance Corporation, says that Serbia has carried out an important reform which has facilitated the issuing of building permits.
The total number of ease-of-doing-business points Serbia has won increased from last year's 73.32 to 73.49, Lubeck said.
As he explains, this means that, in the past year, Serbia has improved business regulations in an absolute sense, according to those indicators relevant to the Doing Business report, and that the country is narrowing the gap when it comes to the examples of the best practice of regulating the business environment in the world.